Since 1988 Provincetown Harbor has been activated by hundreds of swimmers, kayakers and safety boaters at the annual Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, raising over $4M. Thirty years later the event continues the mission of the Provincetown Community Compact* to nurture the well-being of Provincetown by supporting numerous community organizations, including AIDS and women’s health.
Presidents’ weekend marks the thirty-week countdown to the event on September 9. From now until then, The Compact will highlight images and stories of swimmers and volunteers and organize special events with beneficiaries and other community organizations.
“Provincetown is an American story. Its response to HIV/AIDS is a model of how local communities can overcome crisis when government turns its back. As much as anything else, the Swim for Life is an event reminding us all of the power of love and compassion, and after 30 years, it’s as strong as ever,” states Executive Director Jay Critchley.
Swim for Life beneficiaries this year include: AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Provincetown Schools, Lower Cape Ambulance, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown, Outer Cape Health Services, The Compact Community Fund, Provincetown Rescue Squad, Accessible Provincetown, Cape Cod Children’s Place and the West End Racing Club.
In 1993 the Swim quietly began to ask people to write names and messages on colored ribbons to honor loved ones, both living and deceased. To date there are 2800 Prayer Ribbons that are displayed at the Swim. Last fall The Compact was invited to show them at a ceremony in the Cannon Caucus Room at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. on World AIDS Day, December 1.
The Compact also honored the 49 victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings at a special ceremony at Town Hall Prayer Ribbons with a distinct strand of Prayer Ribbons Orlando. Each person’s name, which was inscribed in gold on a black ribbon, was read aloud. A 50th ribbon was inscribed for those injured. This strand traveled to Orlando and was shared with the families of the victims and them installed for a week in front of Orlando City Hall.
For more information go to: www.swim4life.org and firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Compact, sponsor of the 30th Swim for Life this year, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Its mission is to nurture the well being of the community, connecting people, place and enhancing the arts, the environment and the economy. Initiatives include the Think-ubator, which shepards grass roots projects and organizations through fiscal sponsorship and management, and the overseeing of two historic dune shack residencies in the Cape Cod National Seashore.