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Champion swimmer takes on Watauga Lake challenge for kids with cancer

Sue Guinn Legg • May 24, 2020 at 8:24 PM

Science Hill High School’s three-time state champion swimmer Daniel Chang has stepped up for a different kind of champion swim.

For two days in June, Chang will swim 23 kilometers at Watauga Lake in a Camp Champion fundraising challenge for Camp Casco, a Boston-area summer camp for children with cancer.

A member of this year’s graduating class at Harvard University, whose swim team was the first in history to go undefeated for four years, Chang volunteered as a counselor for Camp Casco last summer.

He joined a team of Camp Champions who raise funds to pay the camp fees for the children by participating in the annual 23-kilometer hike over the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire.

When this year’s hike was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team members chose individual challenges in their home communities to continue the fundraising.

Chang chose swimming to match his athletic talents and Watauga Lake as the most pristine of the area’s Tennessee Valley Authority reservoirs.

His Camp Champion goal is to raise a minimum of $1,600 to send one kid who has survived or is still battling cancer to a camp where the staff includes a full medical team and the whole idea is to let children forget they are ill for a week and just be kids having fun at camp.

Change’s personal goal is to raise as much money and send as many kids to camp as possible, and he’s in search of local sponsors to help him do it.

“I understand that it’s a really tough time to fundraise with the pandemic and everything that is going on,” Chang said. “But people who can and want to help, I encourage them to follow Camp Casco on social media or just visit their website and share that on their social media. The more people who know about the camp, the better.”

Thanks to a Camp Champions supporter who has put a matching contribution for this year’s individual challenges, each dollar donated will be doubled.

Donations to help Chang in his Camp Champion challenge may be made on his fundraising page at campcasco.org/daniel-chang, Checks to Camp Casco earmarked for “Camp Champions — Daniel Chang” may be mailed to Camp Casco, P.O. Box 330, Sudbury, MA 01776.