Friends in Need; Hurricane Charley Gone But Devastation Remain

FLORIDA GULF COAST, August 25. ATHENS has been the focal point of the aquatics world for a few weeks now. But some parts of our swimming society continue to experience the impact of an angry nature in a way that brings perspective to all human activity. Jay Thomas and Don Henshaw tell SwimInfo about the continuing effects of Hurricane Charley on the Florida Gulf Coast swimming scene.


Dear Newsmaster,

While we have all been enjoying the Olympic Games, there is a portion of our swimming community who are struggling with the ravages of Hurricane Charley. This is a portion of an email that I received from Coach Don Henshaw of Gulf Coast Swim Team. Things are bad all the way up to the Orlando area. It is like a super wide tornado just came through and leveled the place. Coach Henshaw of the Fort Meyers branch of GCST has been trying to coordinate some relief efforts.

Perhaps SWIMINFO could help get the word out to the global swimming community on how folks can help. The pictures sort of tell the story. [For more information, contact Don Henshaw at]


Jay Thomas
FG Board of Directors


Gulf Coast Swim Team Punta Gorda and Pt. Charlotte branchs were hit very hard by hurricane Charley last week. many families lost their homes or had major roof damage. the Fort Myers branch came through it in pretty good shape. We are asking for help from your LSC to support the GCST Relief Fund. We have already had a lot of supplies (food and water) brought in by Florida Swimming clubs. If any one would like to donate supplies to the relief effort, that would be greatly appreciated. There are many people in the stricken area of Charlotte and Desoto Counties that are homeless and have lost virtually everything. Please get the word out to your member clubs. The GCST Punta Gorda branch even lost their pool as it too damaged to be saved and the Charlotte County School Board is going to bulldoze it along with badly damaged parts of Charlotte High School. Coach Jeff Cain is the coach for GCST and Charlotte High swim teams.

Pictures can be found at [the Gulf Coast Swim Team website].
Coach Don Henshaw
Gulf Coast Swim Team – Ft. Myers
8/17/04 – Things Worse For GCST Families Than Earlier Thought- A GCST Relief Fund is being started at Colonial Bank, in Ft. Myers, for families that are in dire need. The fund will be tax deductible. Donations can be made to:
GCST Relief Fund c/o Karen McCaw
21552 Belhaven Way, Estero, FL 33928
GCST would also like to thank West Florida Lightning Aquatics, who did a great job of getting 3 truckloads of supplies down to their Pt. Charlotte / Punta Gorda branches. Unfortunately, people still need basic items like paper products, canned goods, bleach and cleaning supplies, power bars, peanut butter and jelly, bread, instant coffee, water, insect repellant, personal hygiene items, and gas cans. Anyone that can get these items down here would be greatly appreciated and help a lot.
The GCST Ft. Myers Branch is sending a truckload of items on Wednesday morning but more is needed and GCST will help distribute items to the community also. For more information, contact Don Henshaw at

charlie (hurricane)

charlie (hurricane)

charlie (hurricane)

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