Signing a cheque may be the easiest way to show your support for a given charity, but Stephen Gould, SVP of UK licensing, retail and promotions at 4Kids International, has decided to take a more rigorous contribution route. Along with UK-based Swim Trek, the exec is organizing a three-day charity swim around the Maltese islands of Gozo, Comino and Malta in May 2008. So those who are interested in joining will have plenty of time to get their flippers ready.
Funds raised from the swim will be earmarked to benefit charities working to combat breast and testicular cancer and support terminally ill children. The UK licensing community’s charity of choice, The Light Fund, will disburse the money.
The swim course will be at least nine miles long. Gould, a former competitive distance swimmer, has been busy assembling a team of 14 participants, as well as training for the event himself.
‘I’m a bit rusty,’ he says. ‘I’ve started doing training swims in Lake Windermere and the River Thames just to get going.’
Although the event itself will trade in the cold, dark British waterways for crisp blue Maltese ones, Gould says it won’t be a leisurely summer’s day splash-about.
‘We are going to have to wear metal mesh on our chests to protect ourselves from jellyfish,’ he says. ‘There is nothing to hold on to, there are tidal currents, you’re out of your depth; it’s different than swimming in a pool.’
Gould is currently hunting for major sponsors and is in talks with Guinness and Speedo to pay for the cost of travel and supplies. If all goes according to plan, The Light Fund could be looking at receiving upwards of US$100,000 from the excursion.