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C-NS Boys’ Swim Team Supports Local Charity

For the second consecutive year, members of the Cicero-North Syracuse High School Boys’ Swim Team donned their guardian angel wings in support Griffin’s Guardians, a local charity with a direct connection. Griffin's Guardians is a recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing support and financial assistance to Central New York children battling cancer. The organization’s namesake, Griffin, was a former student in the North Syracuse Central School District and has had a tremendous and lasting impact on the community and school district.

Now in his 25th season coaching, Paul Gill, a teacher in the North Syracuse Central School District, makes a point to teach volunteerism to his students and teams. Last year, Coach Gill’s boys’ swim team partnered with Griffin’s Guardians and sold shirts for the organization, raising about $2,000. “Because of the direct connection with Griffin’s Guardian’s, this year’s team wanted to continue supporting the group and came up with the idea for ‘Laps for Caps,’ as way of helping out." 
Through Laps for Caps, the team used their home meets as an opportunity to display special Love Your Melon hats, which are used by children undergoing cancer treatment, and to accept donations toward purchasing the hats on behalf of Griffin’s Guardians.  
 
On a recent Saturday, instead of taking part in their regular practice, the team went beyond simply collecting money for the organization, and actually spent time at Griffin’s Guardian’s learning and helping. They started their day by hearing from Erin Engle, the charity’s founder and Griffin’s mom. Erin talked about the organization’s mission and the little boy for whom the organization was founded. She showed a very touching video that helped the boys understand why their efforts are so important.
 
After learning about Griffin and his impact, the boys took time to sign personalized cards which were included with each hat donation to help the eventual recipient understand the personal connection. The team also helped count and organize pillowcases, put stickers in children’s books that will be used in the hospital and made care packages for families to use while at the hospital.
 
Coach Gill says that he continues to be proud of his team and the work they are doing in the community. “Being at Griffin’s Guardians and learning about him and his spirit was a great way to spend the day. The boys seemed to really be impacted by the experience and did a lot of great work.”
 
Laps for Caps raised more than $500, allowing Griffin’s Guardians to purchase 20 hats, which are currently being delivered to Golisano Children’s Hospital. Erin Engle delivered the hats and reports that “The kids and parents absolutely loved them! They brought smiles to the kids’ faces, which in turn brought smiles to the parents’ faces!”
 
Great job C-NS Boys’ Swimming!