Dec. 10 Santa Swim to benefit Care & Share

CAMBRIDGE — On Dec. 10, you could be one of the people climbing out of the chilly Choptank River and into the Hyatt’s wonderful hot tub, thinking how your toes got cold but the swim was heart-warming. You have helped someone in need with your contribution. Yes, the Santa Swim turns “sweet 16” and continues a fun and important community tradition.

Here’s why: First on the list is the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort. Since its early beginnings, the Santa Swim has depended on the Hyatt to provide the beach and waterfront, the hot tub, the elves who pass out warm towels as the swimmers emerge from the water, the changing space, hot chili, hot coffee, publicity, and a big communal room to gather in.

Number two is the Care and Share Fund of Dorchester that organizes the event and uses the money to provide necessities for needy children, adults and the elderly. Aid comes from Care and Share for little things like bus fare cards to find a job, to big things like a room air conditioner for a senior citizen sweltering in that heat spell last summer. A lost or broken pair of eyeglasses is replaced so someone can continue to function.

While Care and Share has no paid staff, they do have a direct line to Santa and Mrs. Claus. They don’t need their team of reindeer to lead the noisy, eager parade to the river. Every dime and dollar raised goes to meet unanticipated needs right here in Dorchester County. Number three goes to the ladies of the Cambridge Quota Group whose support provides the work of registration.

So who did I leave out? YOU, the public! The swimmers and their supporters supply the largest number of folks; still, YOU can sign in as an individual, have some chili, enjoy the swim from the shoreline and use the hot tub if you contribute. Many sign up as teams, ready to compete for the much-coveted trophy that proclaims, not how many minutes they withstood the cold of the river, but how much money they raised from sponsors for their swim. One of the winners last year were a wonderful girls’ team, the Lady Blue Crabs Lacrosse Team.

The event attracts some big names who actually get into the swim of things. Mayor Vickie Jackson Stanley brings a spirited team, and Senator Addie Eckardt has been spotted in a bathing suit of her trademark bright pink. This year, Care and Share President Dave Cannon, now a City Commissioner, has been forced into the water by a load of sponsors.

We guarantee everyone a good time, with musical entertainment by singer-songwriter Summer Snead, plus a happy holiday memory, and a free Santa hat. So consider Dec. 10, and come participate in the Santa Swim. Registration is open at 9:30 a.m. and into the river at 10 a.m.

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