Mothers Hit Ocean to Fight Malaria - NBC 7 San Diego

Mothers Hit Ocean to Fight Malaria

Mother's Day charity plunge saved "easily 500 children": organizer



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    A dozen mothers and daughters took to the Pacific Ocean on May 8, 2011, for the third annual Mother’s Day Fancy Dress Swim north of the Oceanside Pier. The event raised money toward purchasing bed nets that stave off malaria contraction in African children.

    A dozen mothers and daughters wearing dresses plunged into the ocean on a cold Sunday morning near the Oceanside Pier, part of an annual Mother’s Day effort to fight malaria in Africa.

    ONE San Diego, a sub-organization that fights preventable disease and extreme poverty, organized the third annual Mother’s Day Fancy Dress Swim, which began at 10 a.m. north of the pier.

    “It starts off as a tough sell,” said Marlaine Cover, ONE San Diego coordinator and event founder. “But the nice part is once you do it, it’s a ton of fun. The women today, their hearts were full of love, and you just feel good.”

    The World Swim Against Malaria-aligned event raised over $1,100, all of which helped fund 250 insecticide-treated bed nets already purchased, Cover said.

    The bed nets, which each cost $5, spare mothers in Africa “the agony of losing their children to malaria,” according to the event’s website.

    Although hoping for more participants, Cover considered the event a success.

    She said multiple children likely use each bed net, so their 250 nets will "easily" save over 500 African children.

    “That’s a good day by noon on Mother’s Day as far as I'm concerned,” Cover said. “You can’t have a bad day doing that ... It's a great way to spend Mother's Day. We hope it becomes more popular."

    In 2008, malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African children, according to the World Health Organization.