Dive in to raise cash for a good cause
The positive energy in the pool at the Gleason Family YMCA was palpable as athletes, children and the members of the Wareham community splashed with purpose at the 8th Swim-A-Thon.
On Saturday, the YMCA conducted its annual Swim-A-Thon fundraiser during which swimmers collected donations per lap to help reach a collective goal of $17,000. Total funds raised from the event, which were unavailable at press time, will help low-income individuals and families have access to the Y's membership.
“We have a very strong and supportive community because Wareham has a huge diversity. Our socioeconomic structure is so wide-ranging, and those people who have a little bit to give back are more than happy to help those who don’t have enough,” said Senior Program Director Melissa Dyer.
The Swim-a-Thon lasted six hours. Members of the community could pledge money for each participant, either based on how many laps a participant swam, or as a flat donation. The minimum pledge a participant had to raise was $50 for the hour.
This year, Swim-a-Thon saw 37 swimmers take a dip and complete length after length. One of the participants, Pam Friedman, raised $7,500 after finishing 12 miles, or 443 laps. Another contestant, Pam Smith Paquette, completed 36 laps and raised $1,500 — enough money to enroll five kids in the Y’s summer camp.
“People are donating to the cause because they know and understand that we are helping people to be here,” said Smith Paquette. “And they understand that everyone who joins YMCA gets to do what they love here.”
Each lane was assigned to a member of the Wareham Middle School Honor Society who meticulously tracked the number of completed laps. One of the students, Julia Demedeiros, said she volunteered because she “wanted to help out [her] community and help the event run smoothly.”