BRISTOL — Organizers are seeking volunteers and participants for a fundraising event on Newfound Lake to benefit veterans.
The second Swim With A Mission, which features open-water races and demonstrations by Navy SEALs, is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, on Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park. “There are over 110,000 Veterans in New Hampshire and we were really surprised at how many need help,” said Phil Taub, who founded SWAM with his wife, Julie. “So we started this event as a way to honor our veterans and raise money to help the many service organizations that serve our veterans.”
The inaugural SWAM raised more than $370,000 last July, when about 1,000 spectators and hundreds of swimmers took part.
Swimmers can register for the 1K, 5K and 10K distances as individuals or teams of up to five for a 10K relay.
After the races, Navy SEALs will demonstrate jumping from a helicopter and other maneuvers.
Taub, a triathlete and attorney with Nixon Peabody LLP, said he got the idea for the fundraiser while attending a demonstration at the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., and thought Newfound Lake would serve as a great host location.
Rick Kaiser, executive director of the Navy SEAL Museum and a retired master chief with the elite unit, said the SEALs are excited to be back again this summer for the 2018 SWAM.
“This is a great concept, not only to showcase the specialized training necessary to become part of our special operations forces, but also to raise money to help those who have made incredible sacrifices for our country,” Kaiser said in a release. “I think the participants who turn out to this event will be amazed at the skills on display by your Navy SEALs.”
The SEAL Museum is one of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser. Proceeds will also go to Veterans Count, Children of the Fallen Patriots, the Dan Healy Foundation and the Harbor Homes Plymouth Project.
Swimmers wishing to participate need to raise at least $500 each, $1,500 per relay team of three, $2,000 for a team of four and a minimum of $2,500 for a team of five.
SWAM is also seeking volunteers to kayak, paddle board and help on the beach.
People interested in swimming or volunteering can find details at http://swam.org/.
By Doug Alden
This article was originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.