When Riley heard that his swimming club, DVE Aquatic, were raising funds for Berry Street through their swimathon, he jumped online to find out all about our work. He was so touched and inspired by what he read that he even created his own tagline!
"No child should have to flee their home due to violence,” said Riley. His friends and family were so inspired by his words that everyone he spoke to donated to his fundraising campaign.
Riley’s deep compassion, courage and commitment to the cause led to him raising nearly $1,000 for Victorian children and young people experiencing vulnerability.
Riley’s actions speak louder than words
But it wasn’t just Riley’s words that inspired people to donate; it was also his incredible dedication to the swimathon. Over a 24-hour period in April, Riley swam in four two-hour blocks, clocking up nearly eight hours in the pool!
"Riley was in the pool from 7pm-9pm, then again at 2am-4am, then again at 10am-11am, then again at 5pm-7pm," said Riley’s mum, Donna. Donna works as a health professional at LaTrobe University and teaches swimming as a passion to people who can’t afford swimming lessons.
The generosity of community spirit that led Riley to raise $925 and swim hundreds of laps is no doubt inspired by his mother’s contributions and commitments.
Local swimmers back in the pool for a good cause
Riley and Donna are members of the DVE Aquatic Club, and the swimathon was held from 7pm on 28 April to 7pm on 29 April at the WaterMarc Aquatic Centre in Greensborough. Along with Riley and his mum, who together swam 14.6 kilometres, nearly 75 people took part in the swimathon.
After three years impacted by the pandemic, it was a real buzz for the young (and some not-so-young) to be back in the water, swimming up a storm. In total, 23,086 laps were swum this year. This amounted to 577.15 kilometres, which is equivalent to swimming from Greensborough to Yass in New South Wales (north of Canberra). What a huge effort!
This annual swimathon has been fundraising for Berry Street since the 1980s and it's one of our longest-running fundraisers! We are so grateful to DVE Aquatic and to all the swimmers who took on the challenge, raising vital funds for children, young people and families experiencing violence, abuse and homelessness.
Join Team Berry Street
If you’re inspired by Riley’s story, why not create your own fundraising event? It doesn’t have to be a huge endeavour like a swimathon, but events like a local trivia night, an art show, or a bake sale can be fun ways to raise funds.
Show your support for Victoria’s most vulnerable children, young people and families experiencing poverty, violence and abuse.