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Swimming for a cause

Matt DeYoung • Jan 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Drew Fogel has seen firsthand how TCM Counseling can positively affect someone struggling with depression.

So Fogel, a 16-year-old junior at Spring Lake High School, decided to do something to help raise funds for the local counseling service.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Lakers’ swimming and diving team will host a TCM Counseling fundraiser meet at the Spring Lake Aquatic Center.

“The past two years, (former Laker swimmer) Keon Rick has done a Bluebird Cancer Retreat meet,” Fogel said. “It was originally something I was thinking that I wanted to take on. But instead of doing Bluebird, I chose TCM Counseling — a local organization that deals with my age group.”

Fogel said a teammate dealing with depression sought help at TCM Counseling.

“That really opened my eyes, and I thought this is something I could do to help, to support my peers around my community,” he said.

Fogel isn’t going about this effort alone. Several of his teammates have backed him up, lending moral support as he walked into area businesses to ask for money.

“In the past few years, Keon has done it all by himself,” Fogel explained. “But I’ve had a couple of my teammates who have gone around with me, having my back. Just being there as an extra person while you’re going in and talking to people you’re not used to talking with is a big help.”

Fogel mentioned that teammate and friend Will Brown has been especially helpful throughout the process.

Fogel has sold lane sponsorships to various businesses. A donation jar will be placed at the entrance to the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Fogel said he is working with The Village Baker to offer various treats that can be purchased, with profits benefiting TCM Counseling.

The entire experience has been a learning experience for Fogel, and he’s encountered many people who have supported his quest to raise money for a local counseling service.

“Some of the parents I’ve talked to said that they know someone who went through counseling,” he said.

Fogel noted TCM Counseling’s mission statement: “Anyone who lives, works or worships in the Tri-Cities area of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg, Michigan, who has the need for professional counseling, will never be turned away.”

“I know everyone eventually needs some kind of guidance dealing with the conflicts in their life,” he added.

Fogel’s goal is to raise more than $1,500.

“I’m almost there,” he said earlier this week. 

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