The Second Annual Michele Daschbach Fast Memorial Swim was held on Saturday, August 10th. Two Olympic gold medalists were among the 106 swimmers and paddlers who took part in the tribute to Michele Daschbach Fast who died October 12, 2011 in the Salon Meritage shootings in Seal Beach, California.
The swim, organized by Michele’s older brother, Rooney Daschbach, is a three-mile open water swim from the beach in front of Rooney’s house in Sunset Beach, which is adjacent to the Seal Beach Pier and not far from the incident. The event is free to participants, but Rooney asked that anyone interested make a donation to Michele’s favorite charity, Smile Train.
In a touching act of support, the USA Junior National Women’s Water Polo team, coached by UC Irvine head coach, Dan Klatt, carried Michele’s spirit with them as they swam the distance with three water polo balls with “Michele Daschbach Fast” written in bold letters (photo top).
Other participants included swimmers from Michele’s daily morning swim group as well as her husband Patrick and their three children.
Family and friends returned for a festive lunch and celebration at Rooney and his wife Claire’s house in Sunset Beach.
The number of participants for this Second Annual swim was almost double the 59 participants from last year, and the Daschbach families hope the growth continues. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful tribute to an amazing women who touched so many.
Editor’s note: Michele Daschbach Fast grew up in Atherton and attended St. Raymond School and Sacred Heart Prep. Laura Pitchford, author/photographer of this post, is Michele’s sister.
Photos by Laura Pitchford; middle photo is of Michele’s siblings, left to right, Rooney Daschbach of Sunset Beach, LeeLee Cusenza of Pleasanton, Lisa Fuerst, Laura Pitchford and Mark Daschbach (all Atherton residents); bottom photo shows Michele’s children and some of their cousins