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Becca Bott

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Swim for Life

By Liz Logan

Photography by Katrina Wittkamp

03.29.17

Becca Bott is on her second lap as organizer of the Hour of Power cancer research fundraiser.

The Hour of Power relay for sarcoma research has long been a favorite spring event for North Shore swimmers and their families. Centered around a spirited, high-energy one-hour practice relay, the event honors Ted Mullin, a decorated North Shore swimmer and local coach who died in 2006 of sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. We caught up with Becca Bott, lead coach for junior swimmers at New Trier Swim Club, who is organizing the event for the second year in a row.

Why is this event meaningful to you?
My father died four years ago from brain cancer, and his death affects me every single day. Cancer really doesn’t discriminate. My dad was considered young, at 50, and Ted Mullin tragically died at 22. Unfortunately, everyone has been affected by cancer, whether it’s through an immediate family member, a relative, a friend… I love this event because it makes people feel like they can do something to stick it to this horrible disease.

Who will be swimming April 22?
The event takes place not just at our pool, but all around the country and even abroad. Since the event started in 2006, it has grown from 15 teams to more than 150, with thousands of swimmers participating. Since its inception, the event has raised more than half a million dollars for the Ted Mullin Fund, which supports sarcoma research at The University of Chicago.

What’s the vibe during the event?
It’s incredible! We have high schoolers running up and down the deck cheering on little kids who are swimming, and being great role models of giving back. There are homemade signs all around the pool. We have a terrific raffle, a thermometer that we color in as our fundraising totals go up and a brass bell that we ring for milestones—and the pool just erupts! In the last 10 minutes, we turn off the lights, turn up the music and the younger kids just go crazy. I can’t wait!