405 swimmers raise $200,000 for AIDS, women’s health & the community.
Provincetown, MA. A record 405 swimmers from across the country plunged into the choppy, cool waters of Provincetown Harbor for a fundraiser that brought in over $200,000 for AIDS, women’s health and the community. Ann Maguire received the David Asher Memorial Volunteer Award for her long history of community service. She was presented with a handcrafted medallion by Kaolin Davis.
There were swim teams from Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Atlanta, and several family teams, including the youngest swimmer in the twenty-three year history of the Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, eight year old Gabriella Martinez, whose mother, Eileen, was five months pregnant with her when she did the Swim.
Other family teams included: Harry Arnini, 89, of West Hartford, CT, with his daughter and grand daughter; top fundraisers at $ 14,445, Shawn and Nicole McNulty of Provincetown; Adrian’s Restaurant with six members, including Adrian and Julian Cyr of Truro and their dog Hunter, who all made it across; and Arthur Richter of Provincetown
and his grandson Max Richter of San Diego. The popular t-shirt by Varujan Boghosian was sold out, and another printing is in the works.
The water safety participants backing up the swimmers included the US Coast Guard, Provincetown Rescue Squad, Cape Cod National Seashore, dozen’s of kayaks and safety boats along the swim route, and the Swim for Life’s medical team headed by George Libone.
The fundraiser, which was held on the expansive waterfront deck of the Boatslip Resort on September 11, opened with a moment of silence at 8:46 am to commemorate the World Trade Center attack.. Following a tumultuous, full house concert at the Meeting House the night before, produced by John Thomas, the festivities following the 1.34 mile open water swim included a large crowd cheering the swimmers as they arrived on shore, the Mermaid Brunch, catered by Far Land Provisions, and entertainment by Zoe Lewis.
Awards for top fundraisers were presented by event organizer Jay Critchley, Provincetown Town Manager Sharon Lynn, and Board of Selectman Chair Michelle Couture. Those who have swum ten times or raised $10,000 joined the Circle of Honor are: Victor Pardi, Provincetown; Joe McCoy, Easthampton, MA; Jeff York, Provincetown and Ft. Lauderdale; George Horan, Philadelphia; Nicky Coolberth, Washington, D.C.; Steve Barrus, Jamaica Plain, MA; Angela Guardiano, Naugatuck, CT;and George Stamides, Burlington, MA. While not a race, the fastest male and female swimmers are recognized: Eric O’Laughlin from Boston at 31:54, followed by Katie McCully from Eastham.
Top fundraisers chose from dozens of prizes valued at $10,000, including a week in a three bedroom townhouse in the heart of San Miguel, Mexico, two VIP passes to the Provincetown International Film Festival, a Locman “Mare” waterproof watch, two round trip tickets on Cape Air, Bruno gourmet coffee and gift certificates from restaurants, guest houses and shops.
Business sponsors include: Provincetown Banner, Paul Mitchell, Boatslip Resort, Far Land Provisions, White Porch Inn, Seamen’s Bank, Lobster Pot Restaurant and Fanizzi’s Restaurant. The event is also sponsored in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund.
For inquiries about next year’s event on September 10, 2011, 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, swim4life.org.