FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2009
PROVINCETOWN SWIM FOR LIFE ATTRACTS RECORD 363 SWIMMERS AND RAISES AN ESTIMATED RECORD OF $170,000+; TUMULTUOUS WEATHER CLEARS FOR THE 22ND ANNUAL COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER; LIVE BROACAST ON WOMR 92.1 FM RADIO.
Provinceown, MA. Amidst tumultuous weather conditions that cleared for the event, a record 363 swimmers braved choppy but seasonally warm water at the 22nd Annual Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla on Saturday. The rain held out as hundreds of kayakers, safey boaters, volunteers and the public cheered and supported the swimmers on their 1.4 mile swim from Long Point to the Boatslip beach. Community radio station WOMR 92.1 FM broadcast the event live on the air and online at womr.org.
An estimated $170,000+ was raised, a record, with Dallas and Provincetown residents Kathryn Rafter and Francey Beall bringing in $27,700 in pledges, topping their ten year goal of raising $100,000. Provincetown residents Sean McNulty and his daughter Nicole raised $14,500. Other top fundraisers include: Andrew Laing, New York City, $4,242; Joshua Dieffenbacher, Brooklyn, $4,000; and Victor Pardi and Bill Williams, Provincetown, $3,650. Harry Arnini of West Hartford, CT, the oldest swimmer at 88, raised $2,835 and was joined at the awards ceremony by two of the youngest swimmers, 13 year old twins Elizabeth and Annie Thayer of Framingham. Ribbons and prizes were presented by Town Manager Sharon Lynn and Michelle Couture, Board of Selectman Chair.
Event organizer Jay Critchley of the Provincetown Community Compact thanked John Thomas who produced the previous night’s spirited Celebration of Life Concert, and humorously described the pre-Swim water as “delicious.” He commented, “Once again the high energy of the swimmers is what makes this event and creates community.” He added that the safety of the swimmers was his top responsibility and noted the presence of the Swim medical team, the Provincetown Recue Squad, US Coast Guard, Provincetown Harbormaster and dozens of kayaks and safety boats on the water.
The Boatslip Resort, a sponsor, was resplendent with the multi-colored Prayer Ribbons strung acoss its expansive deck. Far Land Provisions, also a sponsor, catered the Mermaid Brunch – with Spiritus Pizza donating 30 pizzas – while Zoe Lewis provided the entertainment. Other sponsors include: Provincetown Banner, Seamen’s Bank, Paul Mitchell, White Porch Inn, Fanizzi’s Restaurant, Lobster Pot Restaurnt and the Town of Provincetown Visitor Services Board. A second printing is planned for the sold out t-shirts designed by artist Shirl Roccapriore.
The marshalling of the recod number of swimmers to Long Point for the start was facilitated by Ptown Trolley, Viking Princess, Provincetown Harbormaster, Flyer’s Boat Rentals and private boats.
Madeline Miller of Truro was awarded the David Asher Volunteer Award for her years of community service and volunteering at twenty Swims for life. Circle of Honor inductees – those who have swum ten times or raised $10,000 – include: Emile Culver of Jamiaca Plain, MA; Chris Massaro of Belchertown, MA; and Martha Hevenor of South Wellfleet. They were presented with handcrafted madallions created by Provincetown artist Kaolin Davis. The US Coast Gurad also enlisted three swimmers for the event. Teams of swimmers participated from Denver, Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York City, with a special contingent honoring the late Provincetown resident Jacqui Mac. Wellesley High Scholl arrived with thirty swimmers and provided a spirited cheer at Long Point before the start.
Beneficiaries of the Swim for Life include the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Outer Cape Health Services, Provincetown Rescue Squad, Lower Cape Ambulance, Soup Kitchen in Provincetown and the Academy of Art, Science & Technology at Provincetown High School.
Next year’s 23rd Annual Provincetown Swim for Life & Padddler Flotilla will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2010. For more information or to make a donation contact: Swim for Life, P.O. Box 819, Provincetown, MA 02657, 508-487-1930, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at its website, www.swim4life.org.
Contact: Jay Critchley