Swim for Life

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The Wellesley High School Girls Swim and Dive Team huddled and swam for a great cause. Photo © Sean Black
The Wellesley High School Girls Swim and Dive Team huddled and swam for a great cause. Photo © Sean Black

Live, Love, Swim

Waiting to cheer on her husband Brian, on his second swim, Lynda Cain moves through remembrance ribbons reflecting on those we’ve lost to AIDS. Photo © Sean Black
Waiting to cheer on her husband Brian, on his second swim, Lynda Cain moves through remembrance ribbons reflecting on those we’ve lost to AIDS. Photo © Sean Black

Turning the tables on the ice-bucket challenge, more than 400 swimmers plunged into the unseasonably mild waters of the Provincetown

Swim For Life founder and organizer Jay Critchley leading the way and making safety his top priority. Photo © Sean Black
Swim For Life founder and organizer Jay Critchley leading the way and making safety his top priority. Photo © Sean Black

Harbor on Saturday, September 6th for the 27th annual Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla. Joined by more than 75 kayakers, safety boats, cheering supporters and an impressive staff of volunteers, the annual swim raised an estimated $200,000 for AIDS, women’s health & the community. 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 and Provincetown Rescue Squad.

Reunited: Bonnie Argeropoulos with Phil Francher brings flowers to show support for swimmer for Carol Weisl from Philly.  “We are all elementary school buddies from way back. I hadn’t seen Carol for six years and Phil for three.” Photo © Sean Black
Reunited: Bonnie Argeropoulos with Phil Francher brings flowers to show support for swimmer for Carol Weisl from Philly. “We are all elementary school buddies from way back. I hadn’t seen Carol for six years and Phil for three.” Photo © Sean Black
First in: Brian O'Connor crosses the finish line. Photo © Marilyn Cook
First in: Brian O’Connor crosses the finish line. Photo © Marilyn Cook

 

 

 

The AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC) has been providing comfort care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS since 1983. Today ASGCC works closely with the Nantucket Access Network to ensure comprehensive HIV/AIDS services throughout the entire Cape and Islands.

The annual event, produced by the Provincetown Community Compact and organized by director Jay Critchley has raised $3M since it began in 1988. Growing from an intimate gathering of sixteen swimmers who raised $6,000, this post-Labor Day fundraiser has become a heart-warming Provincetown tradition. Last year’s event raised over $200,000. The popular weekend brings in spectators and supporters from all over the world.

Participants wrote names and messages on ribbons to commemorate those lost. Photo © Marilyn Cook
Participants wrote names and messages on ribbons to commemorate those lost. Photo © Marilyn Cook

Making this year’s efforts particularly successful, forty-one swimmers and kayakers each raised over one thousand dollars in pledges. Top fundraisers include: Fred Youngerman, Lenox, MA at $12,012; Joel Stahl, Larkspur, CA, $6,420; Jonathan Scott, Provincetown, $6,100; Peter Mellett, North Truro, MA, $ 5,055; Gene Elizabeth Landis, Amesbury, MA, $5,000; Paul Mast, Waldwick, NJ, $4,775; Jane Barber, Breckenridge, CO, $ 4,000; and Ed Moore, Boston, $3,385. Abby Walker, 5 years old, swam the 1.4 miles distance in a pool, along with Kim Oler, who raised pledges for his Rocky Mountain climb.

Although not a race, times are kept for swimmers. The fastest swimmer was Brian O’Connor from Washington, D.C., at 35:35. The fastest

Rebecca Greenberg, a former HIV clinic worker, shows affection for her family.  They attend the event to show support for PWAs.  Photo © Sean Black
Rebecca Greenberg, a former HIV clinic worker, shows affection for her family. They attend the event to show support for PWAs. Photo © Sean Black

female was Katy McCully from Eastham, MA at 36:123. Darko Fotinovski, from Macedonia, on a work and travel program, arrived to shore first by kayak. Swimmers hailed from across the country and from Bulgaria and Canada.
—Reporting by Sean Black

For more information about Swim for life log on to: http://swim4life.org/

Sean Black is an A&U Editor at Large.

For more information about photographer Marilyn Cook, visit: http://marilyncookfineartphotography.com.