Santa Swim raises funds for Care & Share

MD-Santa Swim_Girls 2x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
The Lady Blue Crabs lacrosse team was the first place winner in Student Teams, with $1505 raised for the cause.

CAMBRIDGE — What a Saturday for the Santa Swim! The yearly fundraiser at the Hyatt Beach usually evokes memories of chattering teeth and goose bumps as brave souls wade or jump into the Choptank. Last year, according to one source, it snowed. This year it was a balmy December day, with air temperature pushing seventy degrees and the water was close to fifty.

Following Santa and Mrs. Claus, the crowd of waders and bathers marched from the Hyatt ballroom to the water’s edge, and one bystander remarked,”This year there’s a lot of skin showing.”
Indeed there were shirtless boys and bikini babes and into the water they all went. The Santa Swim, however, is not a show-off event. In fact, the swimmers are showing generosity in raising money to help others,and they are also showing a spirit of fun as they brave the cold water.

The warm feeling of satisfaction should ward off the chill as the teams go into the river. There are business teams, social groups, student teams, and individuals, all vying for a trophy…not who spent the longest time in the water, but a trophy that is awarded for money raised.

Dave Cannon, president of Care and Share, the organization sponsoring the swim and the fundraising, awarded the trophies. Team Winners were: First place, V1. $3,882. This team was led by Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley and included 7-year-old Paige Conroy-McCoy who said, “This is my first time but I am not afraid of cold water, I like it.” Second place went to Cambridge Quota Club with $3,083. Representing that team was Senator Addie Eckardt who wore the winningest swimsuit, a bright one-piece of her signature pink. In third place, the Polar Express Book Club with $1,455.

For Student Teams, the winners were Lady Blue Crabs, first place with $1,505. It’s a Lacrosse group, but obviously cold water swimmers as well. Second place winners, Santa’s Helpers with $1,130. Kaylyn and Emma Nagel, two young sisters, have done the swim in colder years but this year they had to go to a Christmas Show in New York. Before they went, they raised a fair amount of money to come in second. In the Individual category, Broderick Nutter took first place with $1,320, Stephanie Urase, second with $375, and Lari Caldwell, third place with $283.

The dip in the Choptank raised $16,000 for Care and Share which has no paid staff. All the money goes to help children, families, and seniors for a particular need or emergency. A big community thank you goes to the Hyatt for its donation of coffee, cookies, and Chili. (Chili? Someone has a sense of humor.) The Hyatt also provided the use of the beach and hot tub. Now kids as young as six and seniors in their 70s and 80s can go home and brag about their December swim in the Choptank. It may be a “warm” memory for years to come.

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