Save the Bay’s Fundraiser Swim Going Virtual

Organizers hope widening the range of activities for participants, and cutting the registration fees in half, will encourage more participation.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Since 1976, swimmers have come together year after year to swim two miles across the open waters of Narragansett Bay, from Newport to Jamestown, while raising money for Save the Bay.

Save the Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone says, “One of the really distinguishing features of our swim is the location.  It’s a spectacular location.

Stone calls the swim their “most important fundraiser of the year,” raising about $300,000, or 10% of their annual budget.

Stone says, “It’s very important to our ability to sustain our work.”

This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to come up with an alternative approach.  They’re going virtual.  Participants can sign up to do a 2-mile swim on their own time, wherever they are, or they can do a shortened half-mile swim.

If you can’t get to the water, there are some other options, like a bike ride, a row, a run, or stand up paddleboarding.

They hope allowing more options and cutting the registration fee in half might attract more participants, which could help cushion the blow when it comes to their fundraising efforts.

Stone says, “In a summer where there are going to be very few large organized events, if any, we want to encourage people to get out, enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the bay.  That’s the main point.”

Participants have until the end of August to complete their events and send in their times.  Save the Bay will post a leaderboard for each event.

If you want to learn more, visit their website here:

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© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island