10th annual Swim a Mile for Hospice set for Aug. 3 in Hannawa Falls
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 1:44 pm

Swimmers, volunteers and supporters are gathered before taking to the water for last year’s Swim a Mile for Hospice. Seventy- five swimmers participated and raised more than $38,000 to support patient and family services.

HANNAWA FALLS -- Dozens of swimmers will once again take to the water at Postwood Park Saturday, Aug. 3 for Swim a Mile for Hospice.

This year’s swim is special because it marks the 10th year of the event.

“It is absolutely incredible to be achieving this milestone” said Kellie Hitchman of Hospice. “The impact this event has had in the lives of those we serve is immeasurable. I also believe its made a lasting impression on those who participate whether it’s as a swimmer, volunteer or spectator,” she continued.

Last year, this non-competitive event brought together 75 recreational swimmers from age 12 into their seventies. It was another record-breaking year, raising more than $38,000 and bringing the lifetime event total to more than $240,000.

“We realize there are many very worthy causes that address the various needs existing in the North Country. For our event to show consistent interest and growth is incredibly humbling and speaks to the importance of our services at a critical time in the lives of our community members,” Hitchman said

Swimmers will depart from Postwood Park beach starting at 8 a.m., navigating the half mile or full mile course around Hannawa Pond and returning to the beach. Participants will be grouped by ability and will complete the course at their own pace. Each swimmer is asked to raise at least $100 for Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley (youth swimmers age 12-17 are asked to raise $50). This includes the $25 registration fee. Swimmers, boaters and other volunteers will enjoy a light breakfast and will receive a tee shirt and other tokens for their participation. Prizes will also be awarded to the top three fundraisers.

“When swimmers register online, the website creates a personal fundraising page for them. They can post it on social media or email it to friends and family to make their fundraising efforts easy” said Hitchman.

“The safety of participants is our top concern. We will have a fleet of kayaks, power boats, lifeguards and official safety personnel on hand to make sure everyone gets back to the beach. It is amazing to see the community come together on so many different levels to support Hospice” she said.

In addition personal fundraising awards, the school whose students as a group raise the most money for Swim a Mile for Hospice will display a special trophy at their school until the next year’s event. Last year, Potsdam Central School defended their title as the top fundraising school.

When asked why she was participating again this year, one swimmer replied, “After my first year I just knew I wanted to sign up again. I just love the spirit of it. I love everyone getting together to contribute towards such a great cause while simultaneously having an absolute blast! Couldn't think of a better way to spend a beautiful summer morning.”

To register for Swim a Mile for Hospice, go to www.swimamileforhospice.org or call the Hospice office in Potsdam at (315) 265-3105.