Warm hearts, freezing weather at Santa Swim

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan A crowd of hardy swimmers headed into the frigid Choptank River at the Hyatt Resort on Saturday, as Santa Claus wished them well and Mrs. Claus held on to her hat in the blustery weather. The annual Care & Share Santa Swim raises money to help the less fortunate in the area.

CAMBRIDGE — “There are lots of people who talk about making a difference in communities, but what we have here are doers,” said Matt Spence of WCEI Radio as he greeted a roomful of soon-to-be-freezing swimmers.
They were gathered at the Hyatt Resort to take part in the Care and Share Fund of Dorchester County’s 2014 Santa Swim. For 14 years, volunteers have raised money for the county’s less fortunate in exchange for a promise to brave the icy waters of the Choptank at Christmastime.
This year, they brought in thousands of dollars and Saturday was time for the volunteers to pay up, which they did happily, even with a fair bit of shivering.
As he dried off near the beach before heading inside the hotel to warm up, Chris Reynolds of the South Dorchester Good Neighbor Project said of his group alone, “I think we brought in $1,700.”
A statement on the event’s website said, “The holiday programs funded by the Santa Swim provide individuals and families with food, clothes, toys, and other items. The Care and Share Fund, Inc., in addition to the holiday programs, provides aid to individuals who have critical needs that are not filled by public sources . . . Care and Share also provides help with prescriptions, utility payments to prevent cut-off, medical equipment, and a variety of other services.”
President of the Care and Share Board of Directors Dave Cannon said, “We have also reached out to homeless shelters.”
Organizers thanked the volunteers for their efforts, as well as the Hyatt for its support, and the ladies of the Quota Club for their help over the past 11 years.

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