VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A Virginia Beach man has spent months prepping to swim across Chesapeake Bay on Sept. 5 to raise money for people with special needs.
Robert Cass said he will swim between 11 and 14 hours from the Eastern Shore to Buoy 44 in hopes of raising $50,000 for a non-profit that helps people with special needs compete in endurance events, WTKR reported.
“Today’s just a regular training day, run of the mill,” Cass while during a break from training Thursday. “A little bumpy out there today, but we’re training to swim across the bay for Ainsley’s Angels... to buy special-needs wheelchairs or race chairs so these kids can participate in races.”
With every stroke, he builds the strength to complete this challenge.
“I’ve only been swimming about 4 and a half years. I’ve always been comfortable in the water but I’ve never swam technically correct and I had an idea a couple years ago about what can you do to reach out there and get beyond your comfort zone? And this is it,” Cass said.
Cass said he planned to train for eight hours Sunday to help get his body ready for the big swim.
“I’m going to have a team captain and ex-Navy guy piloting a boat that will lead me across the bay. Medic on scene and someone providing protein, other nutrition every 30 minutes," he said.
Swimmer: Chesapeake Bay swim will advocate, educate and celebrate inclusion
Cass is trying to raise $50,000 for Ainsley’s Angels, a non-profit which gives people with special needs the chance to compete in endurance events.
“Ainsley’s Angels is an organization that provides three things: We advocate, we educate and we celebrate inclusion. That means special needs kids need to be included in all activities, It’s a part of life right? So we get out there and we help them become a part of it in race chairs, letting them participate in races, long distance events,” Cass said.
Cass is hoping to raise enough money to buy special-needs race chairs to make sure kids can take part in these competitions.
As an Angel Runner, his goal is to see them to the finish line.
“What motivates me when I’m out on the water is the parents who have these kids and the founder of this company who lost his daughter. The things they’ve gone through show way more strength, way more resilience, way more endurance than I’ll ever have on a one-day swim. The parents of these kids don’t have people cheering their name at the end of the day.”
Click here if you would like to make a donation to help Cass' mission to help Ainsley’s Angels. As of Sunday night more than $4,000 had been raised toward the $50,000 goal.