8-Mile Club swimmers bring hope for charity

2008-02-11 00:00

A group of swimmers, called the 8-Mile Club, have to date raised R1,75 million for charities by swimming each of the eight events of the Midmar Mile every year for the last five years.

In 2001, Durban businessman Stan Kozlowski was the first person to do all eight miles. The idea was born after he swam a 12 km event to raise money for Hospice, which had taken good care of a friend’s mother in the last few months of her life.

The first year the Midmar Mile held eight events (it had previously been six) was in 2001 and Kozlowski did each one with a different family member or work colleague "to keep me company", he said.

He did it again the following two years and in 2004 the club was formally established, starting with 15 members.

The membership has risen to 25 and last year over R500 000 was raised for various charities.

This year the pre-race pledges have already surpassed the half-a- million-rand mark. Of this, Kozlowski and fellow member Mike Roscoe have raised R84 000 and R129 000 each respectively.

Many charities have benefited from the club, including the SPCA, SA Guide Dogs Association, Choc, Little Eden and the Cancer Association of SA, but none more so than Hilton-based conservation organisation the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

Kozlowski started raising funds for Wildlands in 2002 and has raised over R350 000 for the Trust alone since then. This year should bring the total up to half a million rand.

"We are trying to create charitable hearts among young people," said Kozlowski. "For a lot of guys this is their last year and the younger guys (and girls) are going to take over."

The club will still be accepting pledges until the end of February. If you would like to make a pledge to one or all of the charities please call Kozlowski for more information at 083 654 8663.

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