2016 Aquathon Results

Twenty four teams and hundreds of swimmers and volunteers continued the spirit of the 2016 Paralympics and Summer Olympics on Saturday September 17th at the 39th Annual Abilities United Aquathon https://www.abilitiesunitedevents.org/aquathon

The swim teams raised over $75,000 for Abilities United services for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. All proceeds go directly to the lifetime of services available to these individuals and the community.

For the first time in it’s 39 years, this fun, family-oriented Aquathon fundraiser was hosted by the Redwood City Parks and Recreation Department at the Hoover Pool located at 2100 Spring Street in Redwood City.

Swimmers and volunteers from as far North as San Francisco, as far South as San Jose and as far east as Lafayette participated in this event. Many of the teams and swimmers return year-after-year; some of them swimming and participating for over 15 years. One long-time, annual swimmer and mother of a daughter who received services from Abilities United states, “The supporters love the event so much. It is well-known throughout the community and people feel really good about supporting the organization. We appreciate it.”

The competing swim teams swam 30-minute laps and competed for trophies in the lap and funds raised categories.

Pure Speed Award
Gold: Team De Mattei Construction – 118 laps
Silver: Sue Nommi’s Morning Buns – 105 laps
Bronze:  Super Naguers B – 104 laps

A very special thank you to our two lead sponsors and all of our fantastic fundraisers and onors!

Corporate Sponsor Award
De Mattei Construction
Laurie T. Jarrett

Congratulations to the winners of the gold, silver and bronze trophies:

Most Funds Raised by a Corporate Team
Gold: Intuit Otters 2016
Silver: De Mattei Construction
Bronze: CrossFit Diligence

Most Funds Raised by a Community Team
Gold: Logan/YMCA
Silver:  Big Mike
Bronze: Sue Nommi’s Vaudevillians

Most Funds Raised by an Individual
Gold:    Dan Logan (Logan/YMCA)
Silver:   Garrett Seevers (Intuit Otters 2016)
Bronze: Neil Hart (Sue Nommi’s Vaudevillians)

Thank you to Intuit Foundation and the Intuit employees for the most corporate matches!

And for exemplifying the spirit of the Aquathon, we want to especially recognize Team Priya’s Rhymers with the Abilities United Spirit Award!

The swimmers and fundraisers included employees from throughout Silicon Valley (Intuit, De Mattei Construction, EDesignC, HP, YMCA of Palo Alto), participants and staff at Abilities United programs, and local community organizations and residents. Lead sponsors of the Aquathon 2016 were De Mattei Construction and Laurie T. Jarrett (of Palo Alto) at the Silver $5,000 sponsor level and Kaiser Permanente at the Bronze $2,500 level. Other sponsors include Sims Metal Management of Redwood City, EDesignC, Chef Chu’s, Coca-Cola, Costco, Captain Kirk’s San Francisco Sailing, Crossfit Diligence, Grocery Outlet, Hobees Restaurant, Kind, Palo Alto Trophy and Shirt Shop, MarketRiders, Prodigy Press, Safeway, SRI International, SF Tsunami Master Swimmers, Verisign-Norton Security.

The Aquathon is an event where people of all walks of life, all ages and all abilities, swim side-by-side to raise money to help fund the training, education, and support that Abilities United provides to people with developmental and physical disabilities so they can reach their potential. The Abilities United Aquathon epitomizes the vision of Abilities United, a society where all people; of all abilities; learn, live, work, and play together creating great fulfillment, benefit and unity for everyone.

Each year, one of these individuals is chosen to be the “honorary” swimmer to kick-off the Aquathon with the inaugural swim. This year’s honorary swimmer was Maritza Velazco an Abilities United participant in the Adult Services program since she graduated from Mills High School in 2003. A resident of San Bruno, Martiza was born prematurely with cerebral palsy and developed lupus as a young girl. Martiza swam with her mother and beamed with joy and pride while swimming to “We Are the Champions”. She was awarded an “honorary swimmer” trophy by Abilities United CEO, Charlie Weidanz and lit up the early cloudy morning with her beaming smile of pride. Martiza posed for photos with other swimmers, Abilities United staff, and her family. Maritza uses a wheelchair and swimming is beneficial for her health. Each year she participates in the Aquathon. She states; “It’s part of my life to raise money to help the students of Abilities United and make the programs better for all the students. My mother and I both swim in the Aquathon. It’s good exercise for both of us and it is very special for me. I’m always ready for the Aquathon. I love swimming because it makes my legs stronger and helps me be more independent. The water makes me feel good because I can move more freely in the water. I’m a strong lady.”Martiza’s story and photos are available on the Abilties United Aquathon website: http://www.abilitiesunitedevents.org/honoree

S.J. Sharkie, the mascot from the San Jose Sharks, made his annual “splash” entertaining the audience as he has for the last dozen years.

Fresh off their 2-week appearance at the Paralymics 2016 in Brazil, the synchronized swimming team from Synchronized Swimming Athletes with Disabilities returned for a second year exhibition. Based in San Jose, Synchronized Swimming Athletes with Disabilities is an international advocacy and information group to help people with disabilities (Physical/Intellectual/Cognitive) who can swim and/or are interested or involved with the sport of synchronized swimming.