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After a great white shark was spotted twice in the La Jolla area last Sunday, radio personality Scott Kaplan says he vowed to a friend that he would never swim in La Jolla Cove again. That little statement has turned into a big event in the San Diego area.
“It just literally happened on the air,” Kaplan explained. “A couple of weeks ago I did a swim with the UCSD Masters group in La Jolla. Because of the shark sightings, I said I would never go back. He asked me how much it’d take for me to do it again. I said $10,000. He said he’d put up $1,000, and then another friend said he would try to raise the other $9,000. It became a joke on air and once I said it everyone got behind it.”
All of the money that is raised from the event will benefit Kaplan’s charity, The Great Friends Foundation, which provides college scholarships for children of local military. Kaplan, who also served as co-host for VeloCenter during the Tour de France, admits he has extra incentive aside from raising money for a good cause. He will be competing in his first Ironman race this October at the Ford Ironman World Championship and recognizes that open-water swimming is key for his preparation.
“The first thing is to alleviate my fears,” Kaplan said. “I’ve got to get ready for Kona. I know I need to do some open-water swimming and get over my fears. If I can use it to do a fundraiser and also overcome my fear, then it’s a win-win situation.”
The event has been titled “Great Friends vs. Great Whites” and will take place after The Scott and BR Show on Thursday, September 2. Participants will swim from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier and back. Kaplan is inviting anyone who would like to participate to join them and consider donating to the cause.
To learn more about Scott Kaplan and the event, listen to podcasts of the Scott and BR show at Xxsportsradio.com/pages/scottandbrpodcasts.
To donate to the Great Friends Foundation, contact Roxanne Thompson (Executive Director of the Great Friends Foundation) at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760-672-0531.