In times of tragedy, local swim team gives back

The community for a recreational swim team is typically a small but tight-knit group, but on a hot summer night this past Sunday, that community saw growth from much of Surry County as it supported a great cause.

The Elkin Wet Lightning, along with Tara Magee and Melissa Jarrard, hosted a fundraising event for Zach and Sybil Myers. Sybil is one of the coaches for the swim team, but her life would change forever last month.

Her husband, Zach Myers, suddenly found himself in the midst of a deadly shooting that saw him shot in the back of the head. Myers lived, but is still recovering. That’s when the swim team stepped in. After Sybil already had given so much to the team, Magee and Jarrard took the opportunity to organize an event to turn the tables.

“We just wanted to show Sybil how much we support her and her family,” Jarrard, president of the board for the Wet Lightning, said. “The coach is a crucial part of the team. They’re the ones who encourage our swimmers. Sybil’s done a great job to encourage the team to get better.”

However, it wasn’t just Magee or Jarrard who put on this event. The entire swim team and many people from surrounding towns offered a helping hand.

“It means a lot that everyone was there to help. The whole community came together. We as a team would like to thank all of those people. It was a blessing and encouraging for Sybil and her family,” Jarrard said.

The event featured swimming, a silent auction and a DJ. Many people from outside the swim team came out and donated food and money to help Zach Myers as he recovers. One other benefit in the midst of this tragedy was the team bonding experience that has since occurred.

“I think our team grew and became closer because of this,” Jarrard said. “The event was a team builder, and I think our team is now stronger because of it.”

The Wet Lightning traveled to Dobson Tuesday night, but at press time, results were not yet posted. The next home meet is next Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Dobson.

Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.

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