The Main Stream

Apr 27, 2013 1:40 AM by John Patrick

Joe Kay making a splash for charity

TUCSON - Joe Kay is set to host the first annual ‘Float With Mike' event to help raise money for Swim With Mike's Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund.

You may recall the story of Joe Kay, the Tucson high school athlete, whose career ended under a pile of fans on the court. Kay was having the basketball game of his life when he led the Tucson High School Badgers to a big win over their Salpointe rivals.

As the fans rushed the court in celebration Kay was tackled and left suffering a stroke on the hard wood floor.

"If I had one game to go out on that was it. That was the game of my life," explains Kay.

Kay was on his way to Stanford University on a half-scholarship for volleyball when the accident happened. A scholarship that the university honored despite the injury, however, Kay turned to Swim With Mike for some extra help.

SWM is a scholarship fund whose mission is to provide financial resources for advanced education that pave the way for physically challenged athletes to overcome their tragedies and realize their full potential.

Kay says, "It helped me out immensely because me and my parents didn't have to worry about a large portion of my Stanford tuition."

The charity based out of USC has spread to 68 schools and has raised over $13 million for nearly 150 athletes, even some at UA. SWM has awarded nearly $250,000 in scholarships to eight UA students.

Now Joe Kay is trying to give back to the organization that has helped him in the days since his accident in 2004. He and other SWM scholarship recipients will be hosting an inner-tube polo tournament at the UA Student Recreation Center.

The SWM event will be held Saturday April 27, 2013 from noon to 4pm. Admission is free but all donations will go directly to the scholarship fund.

For more information on the Swim With Mike Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund click here.

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