COLUMBUS, Ohio – As the holiday season quickly approaches, members of the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team recognized the importance of giving back to their community and spent time volunteering for Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids (NC4K) on Sunday morning. Armed with gift donations and smiles, the Buckeyes split their time between running around Magic Mountain Fun Center with some courageous kids and helping their equally admirable parents select gifts in Santa’s workshop.
NC4K is a nonprofit organization based in Columbus, Ohio, which strives to make life a little easier for kids and teens battling cancer. Through its Christmas program, the organization adopts 100 families and matches them with another family to supply gifts for the holiday. Learn more about how to get involved by visiting http://www.nc4k.org.
Camey Rabold, a junior this season, approached her Buckeye teammates about aiding the cause after her volunteer experience with the organization in high school. It was full go ahead from that point on, as 22 team members chose to dedicate their time Sunday.
“The thing that inspired the team most was getting to spend time with the kids,” Rabold said. “It is such a rewarding experience seeing the courage, strength and toughness these kids show at such a young age going through such a difficult disease. There is just something special about getting to run around with these kids and help them relax for a day.
“It shows us how fortunate we are, not just as Ohio State student-athletes, but as healthy young adults,” Rabold continued. “There is nothing like seeing a child’s face light up when we spend time with him or her, or a parent’s sigh of relief when they see all of the donated gifts to choose from to make their Christmas special.”
Rabold believes participating in events such as NC4K increases the bond the Buckeyes have with one another.
“It shows us all we have a lot to be thankful for,” she said. “It reminds us no matter how hard we may be struggling there are little kids who are going through some much tougher times.”
The Buckeyes will take this philosophy into the final week of the academic term and into winter training at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The team returns to competitive action Friday, Jan. 16 vs. Toledo.