For an event that was supposed to be a one off event way back in 2011, the 14th Annual 24 Hour Mega Swim at the Fitzroy Pool went off without a hitch!
It was probably the coldest and wettest swim we have had in 14 years. Usually we are battling the heat and sun, so this year MS Australia had covering put up at both ends of the pool because last year had been so hot. Little did we know that the covering would come in handy to keep the heat in and the rain out! Although the Friday evening wasn’t too bad as you can see from the sky in the photo and with our “Beach Party” theme we had LED lights strung down each side of the pool and a DJ playing some great tunes. The atmosphere was fantastic with everyone having a great time no matter what the weather.
It was wonderful to have the City of Yarra’s support once again. They have been amazing over the last 14 swims, donating the pool and staff and even having a team or two each year. The Mayor Jackie Fristacky was kind enough to speak at the beginning of the event and even blowing the hooter to start the swimmers off on their way for the next 24 hours! She then got in the water to swim as a participant on the Yarra All Stars Team. THANK YOU!
Throughout the event I had so many volunteers who donated their time, so THANK YOU so much to Deidre, Jacqui, Judy, Julie, Maria, Gabe, Elaine, Kaylene, Shae, Helen, Alanah, Veronica, Erin, Marguerite, Aline, Dominique and Pauline. Without all of you this event wouldn’t run!
The Rotary Club of Fitzroy and their fearless leader Annie Davie once again where there to feed and water all the participants. Once again they ran a 24 hour BBQ, with not only the typical Aussie sausage sizzle, but also stir fry, potoatoes and their famous Banana Pancakes. This year they were able to get donations of fruit as well. So not many swimmers went hungry! We even had a visit from the District Governor Ross Butterworth. THANK YOU!
I was even able to rope in some of my cycling buddies to take part in the water on my team, so thanks to Tina, Katie, Kerryn and Renee for coming along and being part of the Yarra Babes. To the rest of my team – Emma, Neha, Lucy, Yvonne, Lyn, Brendon, Rosie, Kate, Naomi, Jacqui, Emily, Clare, Meegan,Heather C, Maeve, Heather Mc and Judy, you guys are amazing have done an incredible job of raising over $14,000! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU also to the many local sponsors and businesses that take part – Swimwear Galore, Scally and Trombone, Babka Bakery, Polyester Music, Brunswick St. Bookstore, Cellini’s Workshop, Fitzroy Victoria Bowling and Sports Club, Yarra Leisure, Jasper Coffee, Bikes on Brunswick, Royal Derby Hotel, The Rose Hotel, Terrace Gardens Florist, Atomica, Swords Wines, Westgarth Theatre, Brooks, Caltex and last but certainly not least my own sponsor Liv/giant and Jo Hall who showed up on the day and donated a Bike to the raffle! These are the people and businesses that have supported me 100% and have helped make this event the success it is.
THANK YOU also to the major sponsors, Scody, Coles, Funky Trunks and Advanced Sawing and Drilling and last but not least MS Limited and the staff in the Melbourne office, especially Markia, Josie, Cassie, Bianca and Greg. Without your support and keeping my head level I would probably be in the nut house!
And THANK YOU to Helen Kapalos for being a great supporter of not only the Mega Swim but also the Go For Gold Scholarships. She was on hand to present the awards.
I was concerned that we wouldn’t raise anywhere near last year’s total because we were 7 teams down from 2013 and about 130 swimmers. However I have decided that I should never worry. The amazing people who take part in my event every year and the new swimmers who came out for the firs1t time were AMAZING! At the end of the 24 hours, 534 swimmers had raised just about the exact amount as last year, $236,800.00 and had swum 1964 km’s or 39,000 laps!
In today’s world there are so many worthy charities running events. I think I get an email at least once a week, if not more, asking for my sponsorship for friends who are either walking, riding or running to raise money for very good charities. I just wish I could sponsor them all! So to have 534 people raise so much money for MS just blows me away!
Even thought this event is more about fundraising than teams winning anything we did have some winners!
Overall Team (based on 1 point for every $10 raised and 1 point for every 500 meters swum); Lend Lease Legends – raised $50,814 and swam 71.6 km’s
Youth Award: Richmond Swim Club – raised $4109 and swam 90.8 km’s
Highest Fundraiser: Bruce Rose raised – $7407
Best Dressed: Richmond Swim Club
Special Mention for Best Dressed: Glamourhead Sharks
Bruce McCulloch Memorial Award: Sue Brown
Council Cup: Darebin Emperor Penguins (representing Darebin City Council
In closing I just want to let everyone know that we are now sitting at just over $253,000 with the website still open for a month. So if you want to donate just go to www.megaswim.com and donate to the Fitzroy Swim. As a footnote I would just like to congratulate the North Melbourne Leisure Centre, they ran a Mega Swim on the same weekend with a target of raising $20,000 and they have smashed that with a total now over $50,000. What a great weekend for MS and people living with the disease!