Photo by Zachariah Bryan
Swim team captains hand off the donations, representing the whole swim team. From left to right: Coach Leo Jaeger, Swim Captain Tim Murphy, Swim Captain Sandy Dasalla, Peggy Baily of the Ballard Food Bank, Swim Captain Nick Ulacia, Swim Captain Matt Medalia.

Ballard Blanchet High swim team raises money for Food Bank

A little bit of turkey can go a long way. Which means a lot of turkey can go even further.

So, that's why the Bishop Blanchet Swim Team took it upon themselves to raise money for the Ballard Food Bank to buy turkeys.

Tuesday night, around 5 p.m., Coach Leo Jaeger and four of the swim team leaders gave over $1,800 worth of donations over to the Ballard Food Bank.

Coach Jaeger said he hardly had to do any prodding to get the swim team to gather donations from family members, neighbors and peers. In fact, Jaeger said he hardly had to do any work at all. Mostly he just did accounting and made sure all the donations were accounted for.

Jaeger said he first came up with the idea last year, when the Ballard Food Bank had a shortage of turkeys and had to pay out of pocket to accommodate the overwhelming need. He said he was surprised at how expensive they were, at $20 per 14 lbs. turkey.

According to very basic calculations, that means the $1,800 worth of donations the team brought would buy 90 turkeys.

Peggy Baily of the Ballard Food Bank expressed her thanks to the crew, saying that it was only because of donations like theirs that they were able to serve so many people.

At the Ballard District Council last night -- which also accepted Food Bank donations from its members -- a representative from the Food Bank said that though the demand was high at this time of year, their food stock was holding steady. Over 1,400 people come through each week, a 50 percent increase from five years ago, she said.

This was the very first BBHS Blanchet Swim Team Turkey Drive, Coach Jaeger said.

"They are very proud to support the Ballard Food Bank and to partner with them in bringing Joy and gladness to so many in the Ballard Area," Jaeger said.

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