Dolphin fundraiser to help local swimmer travel to world event in Portugal

The Midland Dolphins Swim Club will host a “T21 Swim-a-Thon” fundraiser on Tuesday, June 21 to raise money for USADSS (USA Down Syndrome Swimming) and the USADSS National Team, which includes the Dow High alum Luke Drumright.

Drumright is one of 28 swimmers, including three from Michigan, who will represent the United States at the World Swimming Championships with Down syndrome in Portugal in October. Drumright and his teammates will face over 50 other national teams.

Unlike Special Olympics, the event is only open to participants who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome or trisomy 21, and it is merit-based, which means participants must earn their place by meeting or exceeding qualifying times.

Drumright and his Michigan teammates — Tom Chen of Portage and Nick Schetter of Carney — will compete in the swim-a-thon together during a dolphin practice. The fundraising goal is for the Dolphins to swim a total of 12,000 lengths of the pool, since it is 4,000 miles from Portugal and there are three swimmers from Michigan making the trip.

USADSS national team members have already paid 50% of the cost of the trip to Portugal and hope to raise an additional $100,000 to cover the remaining travel, training and equipment costs.

“This fundraiser is a great way to show our athletes how competitive swimming can provide opportunities to travel and compete at all levels,” said Dolphins coach Buffy Hall, who coached Drumright at the over the past 16 years. “It will also give meaning to the work they do every day in the water.”

Community members are encouraged to stop by the Dow High School Pool or Plymouth Park Pool on the morning of June 21 to cheer on swimmers participating in the fundraiser.

To donate to the swim-a-thon and help support Drumright and Team USA, go to USA Down Syndrome Swimming – Fundraiser (

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