Over 20 teams and hundreds of swimmers and volunteers continued the infectious spirit of 40 years of aquathons at the 40th Anniversary Abilities United Aquathon, Saturday, September 16.
The energy-filled swim relay so far has raised $65,000 for Abilities United services for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. Proceeds go directly to the lifetime of services available to these individuals and their families in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The Redwood City Parks and Recreation Department hosted this fun, family oriented fundraiser at the Hoover Pool.
The event has currently raised more than 80% of its $80,000 fundraising goal but donations continue to come in.
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. It epitomizes the vision of Abilities United, a society where all people; of all abilities; learn, live, work, and play together to create greater fulfillment, benefit and unity for all community members.
Swimmers and fundraisers included employees from throughout Silicon Valley, participants and staff of Abilities United programs, and local community organizations and residents. Many of the teams and swimmers return year-after-year; some of them swimming and participating for over 15 years. One Abilities United staff member has been swimming for 20 years.
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 Anne Berry, an Abilities United participant in the Adult Services program since January 2011. Over the years she has taken advantage of all that the program offers, volunteering at local nonprofits. Anne understands the importance of giving back to the community and gives back to Abilities United by swimming in the Aquathon. Each year since 2011 she has been a member of the Justice League swim team along with her friends from the Community Connections program.
Anne’s story and photos are available on the Abilities United Aquathon website.
Lead sponsors of the 40th Anniversary Aquathon were Gold Sponsors $10,000: Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation of Redwood City. De Mattei Construction at the Silver $5,000 sponsor level and EDesignC, Sares-Regis, and Laurie T. Jarrett at the Bronze $2,500 level. Other sponsors included Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, Sims Metal Management, Chef Chu’s, Coca-Cola, Captain Kirk’s San Francisco Sailing, CrossFit Diligence, Hobee’s, Jersey Mike’s, KIND, Milk Pail, Prodigy Press, Safeway, Sam’s Chowder House, Sigona’s, Theatre Works Silicon Valley, and Zoom Imaging Solutions.