The 8th Annual Swim A Mile for Hospice was a record-breaking year for participants and organizers. The weather prevailed and 88 Swimmers braved the cold temperatures on August 5th at Postwood Park in Hannawa Falls to complete the one-mile course. With 88 swimmers, this was the best turn out the event has seen to date. Swimmers and donors rallied together to help Hospice reach a major milestone in the lifetime of the event. Their hard work and perseverance paid off as the event raised more than $31,000.00 to support the important services Hospice provides to the community.
The weather in the days leading up to the event had organizers on the edge of their seats. With a large-scale storm wreaking havoc on the beach the night before the Swim, the odds seemed slight the Swim would be able to take place. We were overjoyed to awake the morning of the event to find clear skies and relatively calm waters. The atmosphere on the beach was buzzing with excitement, with everyone more than grateful to have their wishes for good weather met. It was truly an incredible year for the event!
We saw dozens of familiar faces who have been loyal participants year after year and happily welcomed many new-comers to the Swim. “It is always a very powerful day as many participants are swimming in memory of loved ones. That, combined with the satisfaction of completing the swim and hearing the total raised for Hospice, made for a very uplifting morning” said Director of Development and event organizer, Kellie Hitchman.
The event could not happen without the generous support of the community. “Everyone worked hard to put on a great event. We rely heavily on our volunteers so it is especially touching when you see such a strong show of support from the community,” said Executive Director, Ruth Fishbeck. “Potsdam Recreation has graciously hosted the event each year at Postwood Park and Michelle Garrow has continued to help with beach organization and many other crucial aspects of the Swim.”
The safety of everyone involved was ensured by Hannawa Falls Fire Department, who patrolled the water with our team of power boats, kayakers, canoes and paddle boards. Potsdam Rescue Squad was also on stand-by on the beach in case of emergency; fortunately, no assistance was needed by any of the swimmers and every swimmer completed the course without a rescue.
The 8th Annual Swim was generously sponsored by many local businesses including NuMED for Children; Northern Tribbs Swimming, Inc.; A Woman’s Touch Nail Salon; WWTI/ABC50; Sandstone Family & Cosmetic Dentistry; Massena Savings and Loan; J.C. Merriman’s, Inc.; S&L Electric, Inc.; and John C. Parcell IV, CPA. Additional businesses who sponsored swimmers in the event included Fun Unlimited, Hyde-Stone Mechanical Contractors, Mort Backus and Sons, and Howland Pump and Supply.
Hospice was also able to offer prizes as incentives to the top three fundraisers which included two round trip tickets from Ogdensburg to Boston donated by Cape Air, a brand new 10‘ Tahoma Kayak, and an ALTEC Lansing Bluetooth & waterproof speaker. This year’s top fundraisers were Shauna Gall, Jan deWaters and Derrick Conway.
Everyone at Hospice is still in awe at the level of success at this year’s event. Hospice is deeply appreciative of the generous support from everyone involved. Safe to say we have set the bar pretty high for next summer!
The event was featured as a front-page spread in the Watertown Daily Times. Read the full article here: Swimmers Break Record Numbers in Hospice Fundraiser. Thank you to Chris Lenny for capturing numerous photos at the event and to W.T. Ekert for interviewing the event organizer and publishing our story.