Swim-a-Thon in L.A. to Help Niall Skeehan

By Lynne Lussier

LOS ANGELES, April 10. A SWIM-A-THON will be held at the Stephen S. Wise Temple Freedom Pool on April 22, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in support of the family of Irish swimmer and water polo player Niall Skehan.

The Freedom Pool is located at 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, in Los Angeles. Directions: From UCLA, take the 405 North and exit at Mulholland Drive, head east to Casiano Dr., take a right and the entrance to Temple and School is on the left. (The Millken High School is on the West side of the freeway). Parking is all the way up the driveway past the pool.

There is a $10.00 entry fee per person. There will be free bagels, coffee, juice and soft drinks in the morning and a BBQ in the afternoon.

There will also be a raffle (entry fee gets you a ticket) and a silent auction. There will be gifts for those 12 and under, and for those over 12, who swim the most laps and another for raising the most money.

Niall Skehan was a member of the Irish Water Polo Team from 1974-1984. He came to the USA in 1979 and attended Cal State LA from 1983-1986 on a full
swimming and water polo scholarship. He was the head coach of Santa Monica High School aquatics from 1981-1991. His team won ten league championships and one CIF championship.

From 1991 until the present, Skehan has been the Aquatics Director and head swimming and water polo coach of the Stephen S. Wise Temple and Elementary School Men and Women's teams.

Niall is married to Julie, and is the proud father of three children, Emily (12), Tighe (5) and Niamh (9 months).

Shortly after Thanksgiving, 2000, Skehan suffered a severe stroke, which placed him in the ICU unit of
UCLA for thirteen days. From that day forward, he has been working to rehabilitate himself.

The money is being raised for Niall's medical and family expenses. Insurance hasn't covered everything, of course, he requires round-the-clock nursing assistance and his ability to earn a living is zero due to his stroke. Organizers of the swim-a-thon hope to raise $20,000.

Dr. Stephen Wise (no relation to the rabbi after whom the temple is named) and Howard Burkons, both Masters swimmers, are organizing the event.

If you would like to participate and need more information, go to the Stephen Wise website : www.sswt.org/aquatics. There you will find additional information and pledge forms that you can download.

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