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Fundraiser Supports Hills Woman's English Channel Swim

Jenny Birmelin will travel to England in August to accomplish her goal.

Farmington Hills resident Jenny Birmelin, 33, has been approved by the Channel Swimming Association to swim a solo crossing of the English Channel.

A math teacher at Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield, Birmelin is set to swim sometime between August 19 and August 27 this year. The exact day of her swim will be determined while she is there, based on weather conditions, water currents and tides.

To help cover the cost of the swim, which is about $8,700, plus the cost of roundtrip airfare for her and her husband, a “Pool Party” fundraiser to help offset expenses is set for Saturday, March 19, 6-8 p.m. at the Farmington Family YMCA, located at the corner of Farmington and 12 Mile Roads.

Suggested donation is $5 per person or $15 per family.

Costs for the English Channel swim include fees for swimming the channel, hiring a boat, boat pilot and official observer, joining the Channel Swimming Association, nourishment during the swim, accommodations and nautical chart.

A swimmer since she was six years old, Birmelin was a member of the Farmington Hills Harrison High School swim team and the Michigan Stingray Swim Association (now the Farmington Y Stingrays).

The English Channel swim starts near Shakespeare's Cliff, between Folkestone and Dover, England, and finishes near Cap Gris Nez, between Boulogne and Calais, France.

Birmelin anticipates completing the Channel swim in 13 hours. To learn more, visit jennybirmelin.com

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