Teen swimmers to cross Catalina Channel for charity

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SAN DIEGO -- The girls of North Coast Aquatics look for any excuse to get in the water. The seven-member team, ages 14 to 15, is training for the Ocean's Seven Swim Project -- a 20-mile relay swim next month across the Catalina Channel.

“It’s going to be so much fun. We’re so excited," said Tegan Preston, a team member and student at La Costa Canyon High School.

After deciding to do the relay, the swimmers said they wanted to do it for charity.

They picked a local nonprofit , Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, which provides free surgery and treatments for kids with deformities caused by accidents, abuse or disease.

“We went and visited Fresh Start a couple weeks ago. We met some of the children. It was amazing how they changed over the surgeries," Tegan said.

The team set a goal to raise $10,000 and has already reached $8,000.

“They decided to take this as an opportunity to go above and beyond themselves and really make a difference – not just to our patients, but their families and the communities as well," said Kailey Chillinsky of Fresh Start.

The team will also have to swim the channel in the dark. The crossing will begin at midnight on Sept. 12.

“That’s the great feeling. You know it’s for something. You’re giving to someone. It’s not just for you," said team member Mia Ryan, a student at University City High School.

For more information on the Ocean’s Seven Swim Project click here or designate your donation directly on the Fresh Start website.

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