Kara Lynn Joyce

Spaghetti dinners are a popular fundraiser for clubs and teams across the country, but the Tullahoma Swim Club has found a way to make their event stand out from the rest – they’ve invited an Olympic medalist.

On Saturday night the club will welcome four-time Olympic medalist Kara Lynn Williamson (nee Joyce) to its spaghetti dinner fundraiser and silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church of Christ at Cedar Lane.

Williamson was a member of the U.S. Olympic women’s swimming teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012, collecting four silver medals for her efforts.

Her athletic resume also includes being an 18-time NCAA Champion; a World, Pan Pacific and Pan American Champion; and the former U.S. record holder in the 50 yard and 50 short course meters.

Williamson is coming to be the featured speaker during the club’s fundraiser and will speak about her life and career, as well as to impart some wisdom with the Tullahoma swimmers about the benefits of hard work in their sport.

Williamson isn’t just here for a short speech and photo op, however; she’ll also be doing some one-on-one work with the Tullahoma swimmers.

According to TSC Board Member Rebecca Johnson, Williamson will spend some time Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in the water with the young swimmers.

She got into town Thursday afternoon, Johnson said, and will get in the water with the club this afternoon and tomorrow morning during their practice times to work on form, technique and more with the Tullahoma club. TCS members range in age from 5 to 18 and the swimmers take part in a variety of competitions each year.

Williamson’s work is sure to go a long way, Johnson said, as there are several Tullahoma swimmers who hold ambitions of swimming beyond the high school level.

“We do have several swimmers that work very hard and aspire to that collegiate level and to go on swim at that level. They’re very excited about seeing [Williamson],” she said.

There’s already one former TSC member swimming at the collegiate level in Sarah Farmer, the daughter of Head Coach Susan Farmer. Sarah’s sister, Amanda, also hopes to swim in college, Johnson said, and holds offers from several schools to swim competitively, though she hasn’t yet made a selection.

The fundraiser will also feature a silent auction with multiple items available donated from local businesses, Johnson said.

As of Thursday afternoon, tickets for the event were still available through the swim club’s website. Tickets cost $7 and are available online through www.swimtsc.org.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

Staff Writer

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