The 10th annual “Swim a Mile For Hospice” fundraiser saw 63 swimmers take to the waters of the Hannawa Pond on Saturday, Aug. 3.
The event raised $31,500 to support the work of Hospice in the community.
“This year, those who have participated in all 10 years of the event received special recognition, according to Kellie Hitchman, director of development and community relations for Hospice.
Participants included students as young as 10 years old who swam a short course accompanied by an adult, to swimmers in their mid-seventies who completed the half-mile and full mile course.
“The event would not have been possible without the support of more than 20 additional volunteers who acted as spotters in kayaks or shuttled volunteer lifeguards from Potsdam Recreation on their power boats,” she said.
The students in the Clarkson University physician assistant program always provide a strong showing of volunteers on the beach, as well as those who kayak as part of the safety team. This year, four of them jumped in and participated as swimmers.
“With safety as our primary concern, we were very grateful to the members of Potsdam Rescue for providing a crew on the beach, thankfully, their services were not needed as no swimmers experienced difficulties,” Hitchman said.
Rather than competition, the focus of this event is camaraderie on the beach and celebrating the various reasons so many community members come together for a nice morning in the water, she said.
“A huge motivator for supporting this event tends to be the memory of loved ones who have experienced the services Hospice offers,” Hitchman said.
Ten-year participant Helen Kenny said she carries the memory of her mother and daughter with each stroke through the water.
Prizes are awarded to the top three fundraisers and the school with the highest combined total raised. Shauna Gall, Derrick Conway and Tommiann Russell rounded out the top three this year.
Swimmers from the brand new Canton, Potsdam, Lisbon boys swim team took home the top honors as the school group raising the most money. They will be presented with a trophy at one of their home swim meets this season.
“Hospice is deeply grateful for the support of so many generous donors. Programs of Hospice focus on quality of life for anyone involved with our services- no matter the phase of life. Illness and grief never discriminate and it is a privilege to impact the lives of our friends and neighbors when they need it most. We thank all who participated in Swim a Mile for Hospice and hope to see you again next year,” Hitchman said.
Thank you to our swimmers, sponsors and volunteers for another successful event! The swim raised over $31,000 dollars, bringing the 10 year total to almost $250,000.
We hope you can join us next year for another beautiful day at the beach!