Going the extra mile

Special to the OBSERVER

Last week, the Hammerhead Swim Club hosted their second-annual, ‘Going the Mile’ fundraiser in support of the Upstate New York Arthritis Foundation at the Dunkirk High School pool.

The event was to show support for 14-year-old team member, Sean Brown of Fredonia, who lives with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. In total, 31 swimmers participated including HHSC team members (ages 7 and up), coaches and parents swimming 32 miles, which translates into 52,800 yards and raised $1,488 in three hours.

Three young ladies – Brooke D’Agostino, Jane Fortna and Julia Fortna – went above and beyond the rest of the team, swimming two miles each for a total of 9,900 yards.

A dedicated member of the swim team, Brown was featured last fall in an Independent Health commercial that spoke about the challenges of obtaining the medicines necessary to stay healthy and the relief he feels from the effects of JRA when swimming in the pool, which spurred the team’s interest in raising money for arthritis research.

This year, Brown felt significantly stronger and was able to complete the mile challenge quicker due to a change in medication. For information about Hammerhead Swim Club go to

Participating swimmers were: Sean Brown, Jake Burrows, Max Corrente, Katie Cymerman, Brooke D’Agostino, Timmy Davis, Riley Drummond, Julia Fortna, Jane Fortna, Sarah Fountain, Finn Frerichs, Greta Frerichs, Lillie Gould, Jake Maslak, Ronan Murphy, Sam Murphy, Sue Murphy, Alex Pattison, Mikayla Reynolds, Caleb Reynolds, Josh Reynolds, Taryn Sillanpaa, Lauren Skellie, Morghon Thompson, Mike Thompson, Bruce Thompson, Emma Thompson, Sophie Thompson, Gracie Wdowiasz, and Matt Zevenbergen.