While most people may conjure up images of trekking up dangerous mountain peaks when hearing about Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayan mountains, dozens of people in Mount Pleasant will be trying to virtually swim there on Saturday.
After returning from a two-week humanitarian trip with the organization Mountain Child in March, Amy Hines, a 42-year-old Daniel Island resident and a Palmetto Masters swim team member, was inspired. She has created the fundraiser "Swim to Nepal," to be held 6 p.m.-midnight Saturday at LTP Swimming in Mount Pleasant.
"We trekked into the remote villages of the Himalayas in Nepal to reach the families and children there," says Hines. "When I learned that 50 percent of the children die before the age of 8 and how many children are sold into human trafficking, I was wondering how could I help and that is what brought me to start my journey to Nepal."
She adds that human trafficking is prevalent in Nepal because of the extreme poverty there and the opportunists who arrive in remote villages making false promises of a better life for a young daughter.
"When they are sold into the brothels, they are forced to serve as many as 40 clients a day. The girls range between ages 7 and 24, with an average age of 15. If they protest, they are beaten and tortured. Often they are trapped in another country because their passports/visas are confiscated, they do not know the language, and how to get help."
Hines plans to return to Mountain Child's school in Kathmandu, Nepal, for seven months to start an English program for leaders in villages. But how will English help?
"It will be a skill to further equip them for jobs and options for income - one way to combat the issue of poverty," says Hines, who is a senior technical consultant at Blackbaud and former teacher. "After the six-month program is done, the students return to their own villages to teach the people there. So by teaching 30 students, the impact greatly multiplies as they train others in their villages ...
"Also in these areas of the Himalayas, there are many trekkers and backpackers looking for place to stay and/or a meal. Since so many visitors speak English, they will be prepared for their business," says Hines.
"Swim to Nepal" is donation-based and open to anyone who wants to swim or just support the cause.
Cyclocross after dark
The Blue Collar Bandits bicycle club also is seizing the summer series theme, but its second of three Cross After Dark bike races will be at 8 p.m. Thursday at "The Wastelands," 20 Braswell St., in the Neck Area of the Charleston peninsula.
The bike races, which are free, are on a course designed for cyclocross bikes, but mountain bikes are a "competitive option," according to the club's website.
The race will start with a mass-sprint and then continue for just under an hour with the riders making eight to 10 laps of the course. While the start will include some daylight, the finish will be in the dark, so organizers ask that participants bring headlights and tail lights.
Want to watch? The website says, "Spectators are highly encouraged to stake out a spot on the course to heckle friends and strangers alike." Who knows, you may want to participate in the last race on Aug. 14.
Barefoot Wine and the Surfrider Foundation are combining forces again to hold a beach clean-up 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, starting at the Folly River Park on Center Street (look for Surfrider's tent), to keep the beach "barefoot friendly."
The clean-up is followed by a celebration, featuring a performance by Elise Testone, at the Bohemian Bull, 1531 Folly Road. Attendees must be age 21 or older.
RSVP at beachrescue2014.com.
Surf club expo
Sometimes surfing events involve very little actual surfing.
On Saturday, the Carolina Coast Surf Club will hold its annual expo 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms.
The event will feature a surfing historian and appraiser, a surf board shaping demonstration, an exhibition of vintage boards and a limited number of surfing and stand-up paddleboard lessons.
Last year's event was canceled just two days before it took place due to forecasts for heavy rain, despite the fact that it is primarily held indoors. The club's website reminds people that the event may be canceled due to inclement weather.
Even though summer is far from over, two summertime 5K series events wrap up Thursday.
The fifth of five Race the Landing 5Ks will be this evening at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, with the kids races starting at 6:15 p.m. and the adult 5K at 7 p.m.
The fees are $12 for children and $35 for adults, which includes a "Southern-style dinner," beer and music by Second Honeymoon. The event raises money for the Friends of Charles Town Landing, a nonprofit whose mission is to support the programming of the site.
And the fifth of five of Bulldog Breakaway 5K series at The Citadel starts at 6:30 tonight.
The USA Track and Field-certified 5K begins on the track at The Citadel, where participants will run a lap around campus, go through Summerall gate of The Citadel, run one lap around Hampton Park, come back through Summerall gate and then run another lap on campus, finishing on the track.
Registration is 5:30-6:15 p.m. Thursday on the track at The Citadel. The fee will be $25 with no T-shirt for anyone who did not pre-register.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.
The Race the Landing 5K series is held at the scenic and historic Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.×
Caitlin Judd, 30, of Charleston set a course record for females for the Race the Landing series on June 5 with a time of 18:22. On the same day, Michael Banks set the record for males with a 14:41.×
Palmetto Masters and LTP Swimming are hosting the “Swim to Nepal” fundraiser to raise money for Amy Hines.×
Despite the majestic beauty of the Himalayas, many of the people in the remote villages of Nepal and Tibet live in extreme poverty and their children either have short life spans or are at-risk for human trafficking.×