Escape from Alcatraz Race

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This year, one Stateliner joined the ranks of grant recipients after writing a passionate essay about how his activity enriches his life. Terry Egan of Oregon will use his grant to achieve his lifelong dream and raise money for a cause close to his heart.

Ever since Terry Egan watched "Escape from Alcatraz" with Clint Eastwood back in 1979, he had a yearning. "It's been a lifelong dream to swim from Alcatraz to the main land, and Balance Bar is making that happen," says Egan.

Back in March, Terry was awarded a $1500 Balance Bar grant. His dream was now at his fingertips. Terry used to be a competitive swimmer, but several years ago, he suffered a debilitating back injury. "For about three years I lived in devastating pain. I went to therapy and I lost 90 pounds. These open water swims give me an opportunity to look forward to something," says Egan.

Come September, Terry will swim in the Escape from Alcatraz Invitational. He's been training five to six days a week in the Rock River and at his local pool preparing for what was once deemed impossible. "It's 1.8 miles, but it swims like it's three to four miles because of the currents. At any time it could be between 48 and 61 degrees, fog banks could roll in, some people even talk about sharks, but I plan to swim in the middle of the pack," says Egan.

But Terry's decision to make the swim has a deeper significance. Terry will be swimming to raise money for the new elementary school being built in Oregon. More than a year ago, Rahn Elementary in Mount Morris was destroyed by a devastating fire. "They're going to need computers, AV equipment, sporting goods, and they're raising money for a new playground. This grant is allowing me to raise money and hopefully help with these projects," says Egan.

So as Terry prepares to accomplish the extraordinary, and his dream, he'll also be working to build a new school, a place where endless dreams are created. If you'd like to make a pledge to the Oregon Schools Foundation in support of Terry's swim, you can visit their website at

To make donations by mail:
Oregon Schools Foundation
206 S. 10TH Street
Oregon, IL 61061

To give in person:
Oregon School District Office, 206 S. 10th Street, Oregon
Union Savings Bank, Mt. Morris, 2 West Main Street, Mount Morris, IL 61054
State Farm Insurance, 810 South 13th Street, Oregon, IL 61061

If you're an amateur athelete and would like to learn more about Balance Bar Grants, visit