EARLY YEARS: Annual swim meet coming up to honor Louis Tudor and raise money for scholarship

Big Kahuna End of Summer Splash will also help raise awareness about suicide prevention
Area swimmers 7 and up can participate in the Big Kahuna End of Summer Splash to raise scholarship money and awareness about suicide prevention
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:11 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With every stroke at the Big Kahuna End of Summer Splash Swim Meet, swimmers honor Roanoke businessman and swim coach Louis Tudor, who died by suicide last year.

“It’s really a nice gathering of not just his swim family, but the community and families and people that he touched in doing one of his favorite things, which was swimming,” says Tudor House Executive Director Kathleen Thorell.

This year’s Big Kahuna Swim Meet is happening August 28 at Hunting Hills Country Club in Roanoke.

It’s a fundraiser for the Louis Tudor Memorial Scholarship.

“It’s a nice way for us to continue his legacy, but also give back to people who have swimming in their lives and embody the spirit of community that Louis had,” says Thorell.

Tudor House is a non-profit that was created after Tudor’s death. Its mission is to provide suicide prevention education and support.

“Our goal is to increase awareness of mental health, hopefully before it would get to the point where someone was contemplating suicide, and so that is where the advocacy and education comes in with mental health,” says Thorell.

Tudor House has formed a partnership with Bradley Free Clinic to start providing services. Those will include outreach programs in local schools, starting in September for Suicide Awareness Month.

“We’re really excited to reach children at a young age, so that they see really early that mental health is just as important as physical health and that it’s okay to talk about those things and pay attention to them,” says Thorell.

All swimmers ages 7 and up are encouraged to participate in the Big Kahuna Summer Splash.

Deadline to register is August 18 at midnight for a guaranteed T-shirt. Otherwise, the final registration deadline for the event is August 25.

If you’d like to register, click here.

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