‘Tis the season of giving and 13-year-old Cooper Zarro has been busy organizing to give back to his community. Zarro, a swimmer from Sierra Nevada’s Del Paso Country Club (SN-DPCC) Pirates, collected donations through a Swim to Feed the Hungry event he created that worked in conjunction with his team’s annual “Thanksgiving 1000” event.
The DPCC’s Thanksgiving 1000 involves the entire Pirate team, ranging in ages from 9-18, racing a 1000 yd freestyle on Thanksgiving morning. This year, the annual event grew to include 17 new participants. Zarro created a flyer that he emailed to the team in the days leading up to the event. Donations were asked to come in based on time performances, number of laps completed, or as simple lump sums.
In addition to swimming a personal best at his 200 free split (2:25.84), Cooper raised $1,825 at the Thanksgiving 1000 to donate to Raley’s Food for Families program. “Cooper is the ideal team member. He is respectful, works hard and is the consummate teammate. He’s always looking for ways to uplift and support those around him. I can’t wait to see other ideas Cooper comes up with in the future,” head coach Adric Jope stated.
Raley’s Food for Families is a nonprofit organization that partners with Feeding America and has provided healthy food to millions of local families. Raley’s pledges to collaborate with suppliers that ensure safe, healthy, and humane conditions throughout the supply chain (e.g., cage-free eggs, sustainable seafood, and as many products that they can purchase directly from local farms to help reduce their carbon footprint). Zarro’s hard work translated into meals for families in Sacramento, CA crafted from quality, ethically-sourced food products.
Cooper shared his thoughts on the event, “I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who donated and helped make this happen. I hope that next year that with more planning we can spread our message farther and maybe even include other teams.”