Dcn. Nick's 250-Mile Swim Challenge

Dcn. Nick's 250-Mile Swim Challenge

From Nicholas Nickl

I'm Dcn. Nick, I'll be swimming 250 mi in 2024 to raise at least $25K for The Little Mountain School, providing free education and meals to rural kids in Joya Honda, Guatemala. Your sponsorship is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

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Recent Updates

Update #14

7 days ago

A HUNDRED MILES!
Today I completed 100 miles total distance since the first of the year. I'm now about a week ahead of schedule. I am very grateful for the financial donations and encouragement of everyone who has supported the swim challenge and The Little Mountain School. This weekend we'll be selling our top-quality Little Mountain coffee at Mary Queen after Masses, also supporting the school and free education for kids in rural Guatemala.

More Info

I'm Deacon Nicholas Nickl, permanent deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, ordained in 2016.  Since 2020 our parish, Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary, has supported The Little Mountain School, founded by our pastor Fr. Miguel Alvizures in his home town of Joya Honda, Guatemala (check it out at www.guatemalaneducationaloutreach.org/).  Sales of the world-class coffee grown in the area has provided substantial financial support and added much-needed visibility.  The education and 3 meals a day for all students is free, so fundraising is an ongoing necessity.

I was especially inspired by Fr. Miguel's fundraising success when he walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and the Camino de San José in Central America, raising over $100K.  But years of running in bad form have trashed my knees, so a camino is hopeless.

What about swimming?  It's been a regular part of my exercise routine for years, though I'm hardly an expert or competitive swimmer.  And I've never swum 250 miles in a single year in my life.

Well, 2024 is the year to change that.  I'm swimming to raise at least $25K for The Little Mountain School.  My plan is to complete 250 miles from Jan 1 to Dec 30 of 2024.  I'll post regular updates on this site so you can follow my progress.  

How to add your tax-deductible sponsorship

This site works best on a computer; performance iffy on a phone.

  • The donation page includes an option for a tip. Be aware that the tip goes to the site host, Fundly, and NOT the School.  It is therefore not tax-deductible and does not help the funding goal.
  • To sponsor all 250 miles at once, choose the link for a giving level that says "TOTAL distance." 
  • To sponsor in increments of 50 miles, find a link for the payment level you want that says "FIFTY miles." Be sure to check back at least every other month to add additional payments as I keep swimming more 50 mi segments.
  • To sponsor in monthly payments, click "Donate Now" and fill in the amount per month.  I'll swim about 21 mi/mo, so $1/mi will be $21/mo; $2/mi will be $42/mo, $4/mi will be $48/mo, etc.
  • If you send a check directly to GEO, please put "swim challenge" in the memo line and we will show your "offline donation" on this page.

How to add PRAYERS

Leave comments about prayers you'll be saying for the children and teachers at The Little Mountain School.  Rosaries, novenas, holy hours, Mass intentions, etc. are all welcome.

To receive regular updates

Click the link "Support this campaign" on the upper right of this page to receive notifications from me about once a week.

In Christ,

Dcn. Nick

Nicholas Nickl, M.D., M.Theology

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
7 days ago

Update #14

A HUNDRED MILES!
Today I completed 100 miles total distance since the first of the year. I'm now about a week ahead of schedule. I am very grateful for the financial donations and encouragement of everyone who has supported the swim challenge and The Little Mountain School. This weekend we'll be selling our top-quality Little Mountain coffee at Mary Queen after Masses, also supporting the school and free education for kids in rural Guatemala.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
22 days ago

Update #13

Another milestone: Yesterday, May 1, was one third of the year. And I'm slightly ahead of goal for swimming at 87.5 miles. Fundraising is slightly behind one third of the goal of $25K, so please tell your friends about this great opportunity to support FREE education for rural kids in Guatemala. And to those who have already donated, again let me express thanks. Your generosity is very humbling.
Today I was joined by Dcn. John Hinkel from Christ the King, who is also a member of the High Street Y. If you'd like to join me for a swim, please send an email.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
22 days ago

Update #12

Another milestone reached: yesterday, May 1, was one third of the year. And I'm slightly ahead of schedule at 87.5 miles. Fundraising is a little less than one third of the goal, so please tell your friends about the great opportunity to support FREE education for kids in rural Guatemala. And thanks for those who have already supported the challenge. I'm humbled by the generosity you have shown.
Today I ran into Dcn. John Hinkel from Christ the King who also enjoys the High Street YMCA. If you want to join me in the pool for a swim, please let me know.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #11

Today I hit 62.5 mi. which is one quarter of the goal distance, 250 mi. On schedule since March is one quarter of the year. And thanks to recent generous donations by Matt Thomson and Steve & Pat Goodpaster, nearly at one quarter of the funding goal. Off tomorrow for Easter, then I'll be back in the water on Easter Monday. Happy Easter to all the donors and supporters of The Little Mountain School.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #10

Today I hit a minor milestone, this morning I passed 100,000 yards. Actually, 101,200. Goal is 440,000 yards which sounds intimidating; but still on schedule for late March. Please forward the link to your friends or family members with a note endorsing this fundraiser; especially during Easter season it's important to remember our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #9

Just back from an amazing 9-day spring break mission with FOCUS to Texas, working with Catholic undergrads from around the US in faith formation and medical service. Being away has put me a few miles behind schedule in swimming, but I was at the pool this morning to make up the lost distance. Shout-out to the Mary Queen Knights of Columbus and also to Steve Hernandez for their very generous support.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #8

Fifty miles today! Officially now at 20% of the distance goal of 250 miles, just ahead of schedule for the year. Fundraising also nearly on track, just shy of 20% of the campaign goal of $25K. Spread the word to your friends to chip in a few bucks, even a penny a mile ($25) will support education for kids in rural Guatemala!

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #7

Today I hit 40 miles, which is right on schedule for the year. And fundraising is almost on pace, $3904. Special shout out to Kabby Akers who donated a whopping amount that keeps the fundraising on track. Thanks to all donors, I'll keep up the pace!

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #6

Lent has started but the swimming goes on! Now at just over 31 mi. Here I am with Nate Williams, aquatics director at the High St. Y. He's keeping me honest. Anybody wants to join me for a swim, Nate is also membership director, hint hint. Thanks to all the recent donations, now just under 10% of the fundraising goal. Keep spreading the word and I'll keep swimming.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #5

Progress Report: Today I hit 25 miles, one tenth of the total distance challenge. And today is day 36 (of 366) of the year, so right on schedule. Thanks to all who donated following announcements at this weekend's Masses, we've now hit four figures toward the goal of $25K. Spread the word, and I'll keep swimming.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #4

I'm informed by the platform host that the bugs have been resolved, so fundraising is now resumed. If you have any problems with donating funds or posting comments, please email me directly at [email protected]. Thanks.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #3

Fundraising Suspended on This Platform

Thanks to all the support and donations received to date. The challenge still goes on, I am still swimming and committed to the distance during 2024.

However, due to multiple issues with the Fundly platform, I am suspending fundraising through this web page at this time. If you would like to support or post a comment, please do so. But please do not make further donations until the issues can be resolved or I can migrate to another funding host platform.

Those who have already donated, please be assured that your funds have been received by GEO, the US supporting non-profit for The Little Mountain School. So don't worry.

And keep those prayers coming for the kids and the school. Don't need a web hosting platform for that!

Thanks.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #2

The first week is done. Back Friday night after an amazing week at SEEK in St. Louis, an incredible experience of the Holy Spirit. But I did not neglect the swim challenge, and got in a couple of days at a beautiful historic downtown pool that was previously the YMCA (see photo). So the tally to date is: 4 swims, 2200 yards each, total 5.0 miles.

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Nicholas Nickl posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #1

Thanks for the support so far, almost at 2% of the fundraising goal. Today I'm posting my first official swim on the challenge: 2200 yards, 1.25 miles. Just need to do that 199 more times this year!
Actually, I'm now on the bus to the SEEK meeting in St. Louis today, so no chance to swim. Invoking the liturgical principle that the vigil counts, the first swim was yesterday, New Year's Eve. Can't afford to fall behind out of the gate.
The challenge is underway, please forward to your friends and let's get some momentum going! Happy New Year.

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