Courtesy: UC Santa Barbara Athletics
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara rising junior swimmer Dan Marella has organized and will be completing a 10 mile ocean swim on Saturday, August 15 in support of COVID-19 relief for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Marella has already been selected as one of two men’s swimming team captains for the 2020-21 season, having been integral to the team’s success over the past two seasons.
The idea for the event was hatched about a month ago during a conversation between Marella and UCSB Assistant Coach Mark Stori. “Mark and I were joking around and he said, ‘What if you did a 10-mile swim?’ I laughed it off at first,” said Marella, “but after thinking about it for about a week, I came back to him and said, ‘I think I can do it, but I want to do it for a good cause.'” Marella eventually decided to donate the proceeds to COVID-19 relief and specifically to Cottage Hospital.
Money raised will support two funds, the first of which will go toward “COVID Home Kits” which provide essential supplies for individuals who test positive but don’t need to be admitted to the hospital. The kits include thermometers, pulse oximeters, and educational materials, which help limit overcrowding of local hospitals and allow hospital employees to focus on patients in need of urgent attention. The second fund will support Cottage Hospital employees from double-income and frontline worker households who require additional income for child-care and other unexpected expenses arising during the pandemic.
Marella’s training has consisted of running and ocean and pool swimming. His longest ocean swim to date was six miles, which consisted of three miles with and three miles against the current. Marella says the pandemic has personally impacted him negatively and positively. Regrettably, Marella says that he hasn’t been able to go home to be with his family. Living with several of his teammates, though, and navigating the pandemic together in Isla Vista has brought them closer than ever. “I get to be with my teammates and best friends, and I get to bond with them in a much different way than I ever would have in normal times,” said Marella. The rising team captain acknowledges that the pandemic has adversely affected many people in the community, which was a catalyst for creating the fundraiser.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our rising junior captain. We continue to place value on the phrase: ‘Gauchos Give Back’ and Dan is a great example of how one idea can blossom into such a powerful and worthy cause,” said UCSB Swimming Head Coach Matt Macedo. “The support from the community has been amazing and we are so proud to see Dan’s idea come together. I encourage anyone who can to get involved and support this meaningful event.”
Below are options of how to get involved:
- Donations of any size are welcome and can be made by clicking here, designating “Cottage Emergency Response Fund,” and tribute the gift to “Daniels Fight Against COVID Swim.”
- Swim a mile or more with Dan for a contribution of $100 per mile.
- UCSB Swimming alumni have organized a charter of the Double Dolphin, a boat that will follow Marella for the final two hours of the swim. There are 30 spots available on the 50-person boat to allow for proper social distancing. Drinks will be served on-board and tickets cost $100.
To purchase tickets for the Double Dolphin, or to complete a portion of the swim with Dan, please contact Dawn Schroeder by emailing [email protected] or by calling or texting (805) 453-0917.