GREENFIELD — Mark and Emily Logan are more than just passionate, sectional-winning swim coaches. They have big hearts, too.
After taking over Greenfield-Central’s boys and girls swim programs five years ago, the Logans made an immediate change. Originally scheduled as a relay meet on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Mark and Emily decided to make this annual duel in the pool much more special. And all for a good cause.
“We decided to make it a Turkey Breast Invitational and promote Breast Cancer research,” Emily Logan said. “For the first three years, we had a silent auction in the lobby, donation buckets and sold T-shirts. All the proceeds went to breast cancer research.
“This past year and again this year, we have decided to donate the proceeds to the Chase Smith Foundation.”
Although young, Smith has battled a long, grueling journey. A freshman at Indian Creek this season and son of head swim coach Brad Smith, Smith was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 13.
“Brad also coaches their club team and many of our kids have competed against Chase over the years,” Emily Logan added. “He fought the first round and was back to competing within a year.”
But this past summer, Chase found another lump in his leg. It came back. Now, he fights through chemotherapy treatments — while adjusting to a new school and environment — in hopes of returning to the water soon.
The invitational, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, will assist the Smith family in paying for medical expenses and more. Those who wish to donate are welcome to stop by the Greenfield-Central pool, Emily Logan said. There will be a silent auction, T-shirts and donation buckets, as well.
Additionally, participants will be given the chance to honor loved ones on Saturday that have fallen victim to this illness or are cancer survivors.
Indian Creek, Bishop Chatard and Oak Hill, in addition to the Cougars, will be in attendance. Both Greenfield-Central teams won sectional titles last season and return plenty of experience for 2016-17.
The meet will begin with the 200-yard medley relay and end with the 400-yard freestyle relay. The diving portion will take place after four events.
But Saturday is more than about swimming.
“The Smith family is very strong but, as you can imagine, this has been a tough couple of years,” Emily Logan said. “Their swimming family battles also. The unique thing about swimming is, truly wherever you go, the swimming community is a family.
“Even though the Smith’s live in Trafalgar, they are family bonded by swimming with us.”
Turkey Breast Invitational
Who: Greenfield-Central, Bishop Chatard, Indian Creek and Oak Hill
When: Saturday, November 19 at Greenfield-Central
Start: 10 a.m. (doors open at 9 a.m.)
ORDER OF EVENTS
200 Medley Relay
50 Freestyle – Varsity & Junior Varsity
Diving – 6 dives each
100 Freestyle – Varsity & Junior Varsity
200 Freestyle Relay
400 Freestyle Relay