PROVINCETOWN BANNER. The Swim for Life, founded in 1988, fits nicely into the mission of the Provincetown Community Compact, its sponsor: to enhance the well being of the community.
The AIDS Support Group and Helping Our Women remain the primary beneficiaries of this post-Labor Day fundraiser, and many other organizations have received funds on a continuous basis: the Soup Kitchen, Outer Cape Heath Services, Provincetown Schools, The Compact Community Fund, Lower Cape Ambulance and Provincetown Rescue Squad. For two years we committed funds for the Youth Reach program at PAAM, and last year we included support for a new organization, Accessible Provincetown.
This year we have selected two new organizations: Cape Cod Children’s Place in Eastham, and the West End Racing Club.
On a recent sunny afternoon I visited the West End Racing Club and met longtime leaders, Susan Avellar and Dan Hoeflinger, perched on the upper level of the waterfront clubhouse. Founded in the 1950s, the organization employs a rigorous peer program for eight to fourteen year olds who climb up the ranks by mentoring each other. A life-long project of the late Flyer Santos, the non-profit’s goal is “to teach the area children how to swim, sail and be safe around the water”, according its Facebook page. This is good news for the future of the Swim since about half of adolescents and adults do not know how to swim.
All the Senior Sailing Instructors, who will soon be return to college, have been with the program for eight to fourteen years, each acquiring the needed skills and leadership along the way. Tristan Loughlin will return to the College of Charleston in South Carolina, Sara Rivera, born and raised in Provincetown, will continue studies at the University of Maine at Machias, Jessica Kent returns to Simmons College in Boston, and Luke Giacomo will head back to England.
The 29th Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, a 1.4-mile swim across Provincetown Harbor set for September 10, has raised $4M for AIDS, women’s health and the community since 1988. The public is invited to the Celebration of Life concert at the Meeting House on Friday, September 9 at 8:00pm. On Saturday, September 10, the public is welcome to greet the swimmers at the Boatslip Beach Club beginning at 11:30am, and partake of the Mermaid Brunch and awards ceremony that follows.
The lead business sponsor is Seamen’s Bank, the media sponsor is the Provincetown Banner. Business sponsors include: Fanizzi’s Restaurant, Lobster Pot Restaurant, Far Land Provisions, Boatslip Beach Club, Harbor Hotel, Crown & Anchor, Mussel Beach Health Club and Berta Walker Gallery.