The YMCA of Eastern Ontario with Easter Seals Ontario hosts the annual Swim for Kids event in support of programs and initiatives for children and youth with physical disabilities. Funds raised goes to the Y Penguin swim program and to Easter Seals for mobility equipment.
The YMCA of Eastern Ontario, Kingston Y Penguins swim program is coached by 17-time world record marathon swimmer, Vicki Keith. The program encourages children with physical disabilities and their siblings to excel, building confidence and strength of mind, body and spirit.
Easter Seals Ontario provides families of children with physical disabilities with financial assistance for expensive mobility equipment and communication devices such as walkers, braces, and wheelchairs, fully accessible Easter Seals camps, and funding for alternative recreational programs.
The 2019 event raised $37,441 with thanks to swimmers, donors and sponsors.
The event included 1.5 km and 3 km open water swims and was open to swimmers of all abilities aged 12+.
In addition to plenty of fresh air and good-natured competition, the event included swim caps, participation medals, and a post-swim breakfast for athletes and guests. Massages were also provided by Trillium College and Fresh Radio 104.3 was on hand to provide live coverage and musical entertainment at the event.
MP Mark Gerretsen, Mayor Bryan Paterson, Town Crier Chris Whyman, and a representative for MPP Ian Arthur were on hand to greet the athletes, sponsors, donors and guests and to thank them for their attendance and contributions to the event.
An award ceremony rounded out the festivities with prizes and awards provided to outstanding swimmers and fundraisers in acknowledgement of their achievements.
Prizes awarded for the top event fundraisers included a $3,000 VIA Rail travel package donated by VIA Rail and the CEOs of YMCA of Eastern Ontario and Easter Seals, a trip for two to Montreal donated by Merit Travel and a 13 ft kayak donated by ClearWater Design.
Prize medals were also awarded to those athletes finishing in the top place for their respective categories. These included age, gender, wetsuit and non wetsuit, Para-athlete and able-bodied athlete categories.
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