Water Safety Instructor swims for Japan earthquake relief

*Guest blog by Water Safety Instructor Lauren Pullen

I’ve been involved in aquatics since my first trip to the pool with my parents at two months old. I progressed through Red Cross swimming lessons and began working in aquatics in 2003, as a lifeguard and swim instructor. I’ve taught everything from parent and tot classes to first aid. Currently, I’m working as a news reporter and anchor at The Wolf and 94X in Prince George, while still lifeguarding and teaching swimming.

Being part of the news industry opened my eyes to the constant battle the Japanese face. Like many news stories, after the initial disaster, many turn a blind eye to the suffering. That’s why my event is one month after the quake.

As a child, my family hosted international students, the bulk of whom were Japanese. These students were kind, generous, and independent. But this is their nation’s time of need. «Swim for Survivors» is a fundraiser for those still suffering, with 100% of the proceeds supporting Canadian Red Cross Japanese relief efforts.

For every $5 donated, I will swim 50 metres at the Prince George Aquatic Centre on April 10th. My fundraising goal is $500, which equals 5k of swimming. The City of Prince George is supporting me and the pool manager generously offered to match donations from city workers up to $500. It looks like I’ll be swimming a lot more than I’d expected, but I will keep going until I finish, or until they kick me out of the pool. If that’s the case I’ll be back the next morning to complete it. I’m amazed by the support I’ve received, and honoured to raise donations for this cause.

Pledges can be made at www.redcross.ca/LaurenPullen

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