PROVINCETOWN, MA. After two days of torrential rain and wind, the Provincetown annual Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla emerged on Saturday to clear blue skies, bright sunshine and warm and friendly water. In its 28th year, this traditional, post-Labor Day event generated an estimated $200,000 for AIDS, women’s health & the community with the support of 404 swimmers, 75+ kayakers and safety boats and 150 volunteers. Swimmers came from across the US, Canada, London and Bulgaria.
The Mystic makes a dramatic visit to Long Point for Swim start!
The event at the Boatslip Beach Club, sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact and organized by director Jay Critchley, honored two swimmers who have swum 25 times: Joe Stewart of Baltimore and Bill Silvestri of Boston. They were presented jackets imprinted with, The Compact Long Point Award 2015. The annual David Asher Volunteer Award was presented to Far Land Provisions, owned by Tom Boland and Jim Farley, for their community business and involvement and their long time catering of the post-Swim Mermaid Brunch. Jim has also swum fourteen times.
Provincetown artist Zehra Khan created the 2015 Swim for Life design.
Each year, handcrafted medallions by Christie Andressen of Taqua Glassworks are given to swimmers who have swum ten times or raised $10,000 in pledges. Circle of Honor recipients include: Michael Lynch, Boston; Chris Brenner, West Dennis; Chris Perry, and Peter Mellett, North Truro; Gail Greenwood, Waterford, CT; Jackie Palmer, Acton, MA; Linda Heard, and Janet Villas, Bloomfield, NJ; Jonathan Scott, Provincetown; Barbara Jo Revelle, Gainesville, FL; and Nancy Civetta, Wellfleet, MA.
Fifty-two swimmers and kayakers raised over one thousand dollars each in pledges and joined the $1,000 Club and received prizes from local businesses totaling $10,000 in value. Top eight fundraisers include: Jim Youngerman, Lenox, MA at $ 13,482; Jonathan Scott, Provincetown, $8,501; Ed Moore, Boston, $6,800; Barbara Jo Revelle, Gainesville, FL, $6,915; Paul Mast, Waldwick, NJ, $5,450; Peter Mellett, North Truro, MA, $5,400; Gene Elizabeth Landis, Amesbury, MA, $5,125; Mark Bastian, Boston, $4,455.
Abby Walker and Zoe Galaburda, seven years old, swam the 1.4 miles distance in a pool over the summer as a “Satellite Swim” and raised over $2,000. And Mark Kitteredge of Randolph, MA collected 14,500 bottles and cans and raised $747.50 for the Swim.
Although not a race, times are recorded for personal best. The fastest male swimmer was Justin Burkhardt of Portland, ME at 28 minutes, 27 seconds. Top female finisher was Kristen Read of Kennebunk, ME at 29 minutes, 25 seconds.
Other weekend events included the festive Celebration of Life Concert the night before the Swim at the UU Meeting House, produced by John Thomas, and, the Mermaid Brunch on the Boatslip deck following the Swim. Zoe Lewis provided entertainment. The awards ceremony was assisted Tom Donegan, Chair of the Board of Selectmen.
Special thanks go to volunteer crews from Seamen’s Bank, Helping Our Women, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Outer Cape Health Services and Far Land Provisions who catered the event, Wellfleet and Cape Cod National Seashore lifeguards and support from Provincetown Rescue Squad, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, US Coast Guard, Provincetown Harbormaster, Mayflower Trolley, Ptown Trolley, Provincetown TV, Provincetown Aquasports, transport boats Cee Jay, Dog Gone Sailing, John Salvatore, Mystic, along with Flyer’s Boat Rentals.
Swim beneficiaries include: AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Provincetown Schools, Youth Art Reach at Provincetown Art Association & Museum, Lower Cape Ambulance, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown, Outer Cape Health Services, The Compact Community Fund, Provincetown Rescue Squad and Accessible Provincetown.
Event sponsors include: Lead Sponsor, Seamen’s Bank, Media Sponsor, Provincetown Banner. Business sponsors include: Fanizzi’s Restaurant, Lobster Pot Restaurant, Far Land Provisions, Boatslip Beach Club, Marc Jacobs, Harbor Hotel, Crown & Anchor, Mussel Beach Health Club, with support from the Provincetown Visitor Services Board.
The 29th Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla is set for September 10, 2016.