Addy VanLochlem of Agassiz swims at Ferny Coombe Pool. Her swimathon attracted the attention of the First Lady of Kenya, who matched Addy’s donation to impoverished communities in her country. (File Photo)

Addy VanLochlem of Agassiz swims at Ferny Coombe Pool. Her swimathon attracted the attention of the First Lady of Kenya, who matched Addy’s donation to impoverished communities in her country. (File Photo)

Kenyan First Lady matches Agassiz swimathon donations

Addy VanLochlem’s donation helped secure 180,000 meals for needy children in Kenya

One local girl’s Swimathon is making even bigger ripples.

Adriana “Addy” VanLochlem’s efforts to help impoverished communities in Kenya recently drew the attention of Margaret Gakuo Keynatta, the First Lady of Kenya, who pledged to match every dollar donated to the cause.

Back on Nov. 9, the GoFundMe page for Addy’s fundraiser received an update after a long period of waiting and necessary bureaucracy. Fundraiser page creator Kim VanLoclhlem said the team behind the swimathon was left wondering what the months-long holdup was.

RELATED: ‘A heart to help others’: Agassiz girl raises $2,400 for poor communities during swimathon

“The funds were delayed, but if they came any sooner, we wouldn’t be reading this amazing news,” Kim wrote before quoting correspondence from Impact Nations, the ministry benefiting from the fundraiser.

“The funds that Adriana has raised are going to multiply!” The email reads. “The First Lady of Kenya is so excited about the feeding program at Metro Church (they are providing a meal to over 5,000 kids every weekend) that she pledged to match, dollar-for-dollar every donation [recieved] for feeding up until Dec. 31.”

The funding bought two shipping containers

full of food, shipped form Norway, enough to feed 5,000 children a meal every weekend for the next four months. With the additional funding, Firs Lady Kenyatta’s contributions will add another two containers, which means Addy’s swimathon helped facilitate more than 160,000 meals to be provided over the course of eight months.

“God is so good,” Kim wrote.

READ ALSO: Aquanauts action

A member of the Agassiz-Harrison Aquanauts Swim Club, Addy swam as many lengths of the Ferny Coombe Pool as she could within an hour to raise funds for impoverished communities in Kenya. She swam 76 lengths, 1.9 kilometres or about a quarter of the way between Harrison Hot Springs and the Agassiz townsite. Donors had the choice of donating a lump sum or per lap swam.

Her original goal was $1,000 but she raised a total of $2,440 as of publication, excluding the contributions from First Lady Kenyatta.

The online fundraiser is now closed.

Impact Nations International Ministries formed in 2005 with an office in Abbotsford. The non-profit helps with a number of efforts around the world, including relief efforts amid disasters, fostering business opportunities to underprivileged areas and compassion programs in prisons, hospitals, health clinics and feeding programs.

Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta is the wife of Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, inaugurated in 2013 and currently serving as the country’s fourth president.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
news@ahobserver.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

AgassizCharity and Donations

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read