Island Gazette

Leanne LaFave to make History and Raise Money for Zoe Ministry

By: Elise Heglar
Staff Writer

This Saturday morning, local Leanne LaFave is going to make history as the first person to officially complete a ten-mile solo swim from Carolina to Wrightsville Beach.
Leanne is completing the solo swim in order to raise money for ZOE Ministry, an organization that works to empower orphans in Africa. “I have been thinking about this for a couple of years and it just seemed great to me.  To combine two things I love, swimming and ZOE, just seemed to great to pass up,” Leanne said.
Michael’s Seafood has also gotten involved with the cause; they are donating twenty percent of all sales this Thursday, August 11, from 2 until 5 p.m. to ZOE Ministry.  Leanne wants to raise as much money as possible for Swim for ZOE and is excited that Michael’s was willing to help the cause. 
Leanne is also asking for donations on her website,, and hopes to raise $18,000 for her efforts.  People can donate through PayPal or mail a check directly to Leanne.  All of the funds go straight to ZOE Ministry.  The children she worked with on her mission trip inspired her to complete this swim and raise money for the cause.  “I loved all of those kids, I really did.  Knowing that some of them were not going to make it another year was just heartbreaking.  It made me want to do something,” Leanne said.
The money that is raised with the swim will go towards helping 60-80 orphans receive training and access to resources in farming, animal husbandry, and small businesses.  ZOE Ministry helps the orphans to learn how to be completely self sufficient and healthy.  The idea behind the program is that within two to three years, the children who have received aid from ZOE will never have to rely on handouts to survive again. “The money we raise for this could change a whole culture.  It will be lasting beyond our scope,” Leanne said. 
The swim on Saturday will start at Carolina Beach Freeman Park at 7:15 a.m.  The official finish line for the swim is at Dockside, and Leanne is expected to finish at around 12:30 that afternoon.  We at the Gazette wish Leanne luck in her efforts to raise money for ZOE Ministry. 


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