Camarillo, California – Longtime Casa Pacifica teacher Tom Ball is attempting to complete the California Triple Crown (CTC) by swimming the length of Lake Tahoe – almost 22-miles, on Friday, September 6th. The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association regulates and authenticates all CTC attempts, which must be completed wearing only a cap, goggles, and swimsuit. The 59-year-old educator has already completed the 21-mile swim across the Catalina Channel and the 12-mile swim across the Anacapa Channel. With two swims down and only one to go, Ball set a goal of completing the CTC before his upcoming 60th birthday. In addition to achieving the CTC, Ball wants to raise $8,000 for Casa Pacifica’s Nonpublic School (NPS) where he teaches alongside his wife Jill. The WASC accredited, K-12 school serves approximately 110 students yearly, focused on providing social/emotional growth of special needs students.
Ball has been teaching history and music at Casa Pacifica’s NPS for the past 21 years. Tom and Jill’s music class is a critical part of the curriculum which strives to offer students alternative and healthy ways to cope with their emotions and hardships they’ve faced. “In modern education, so much of the curriculum is delivered, experienced, and retained through the use of media. Our mission to equip our students depends on access to reliable and current technology,” explained Ball. “I am often struck by the similarities between the challenges facing many of our students and the challenges of a cold and dark swim. The student faces uncertainty, fear, fatigue, and often doubt along the way – just like I do during my long swims. I think of them and am emboldened to keep going – if they can do it, so can I.”
Ball has been a competitive swimmer since high school – after reconstructive back surgery at age 48, he turned to swimming as a medium to recuperate from the life-changing surgery. Since the surgery, Ball has completed the Santa Barbara Semana Nautica 10K ocean swim competition four times; was a member of the 6-man team that set a world record for the longest non-stop ocean relay, swimming a total of 202 miles along the coast from Ventura to San Diego; was a member of several other record-setting relay teams; and completed several other solo swims including the Catalina Channel. Ball also teaches the Ventura County Masters Swim Class at the Buenaventura Swim Club and is the assistant coach for the girls’ water polo team at Ventura High School.
“It is my hope you will consider donating to this worthy cause. Help us lift those students who’ve been dealt some mighty tough hands, up onto the path of education. Which is an essential component of self-respect, authentic accomplishment, and successful participation in life,” – Tom Ball
To read more about Tom’s CTC attempt or to donate, visit Casa Pacifica’s facebook page and find their “Swimming for Students” fundraiser (https://www.facebook.com/donate/355466425379908/). To date, the fundraiser has raised $3,790.
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is a crisis-care and residential treatment facility for foster or at-risk children in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The agency is the largest non-profit provider of children’s mental health services in both counties and administers a number of community-based programs designed to strengthen families and keep children in their homes and communities. Casa Pacifica is also a foster family agency, which recruits and trains families for potential placement with a foster youth. For more information about Casa Pacifica visit its website www.casapacifica.org or call the Development & Public Relations Department at (805) 445-7800.