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Kelleys Island Benefit Swim

The 20th annual Kelleys Island Benefit Swim was another fantastic Swim and Golf Cart Poker Run. Jeni Hammond and Cindra Mielke swam from North Point (Long Point for you Islanders) around the north, west and south side arriving at Portside Marina in about 8 miles in 4 1/2 hours. Right after we started on the north side, an eagle flew down close to us and dipped its wing at us. A sign of good luck as far as we were concerned.

The waves were in our face as we first started, but nothing we couldn't handle. Rounding Paladino's west dock the waves became our friend, again this year we had to tread water for a bit until the children finished their trek around the island lead by Jen Tanner, so we could have them on the end of the dock for us to swim into. 

Thank you to everyone who was on the end of the marina dock to welcome us in. If you were there you would have seen Life Flight do a couple of circles and then dip their nose several times in honor of our Wish children. It was great. Thank you, Life Flight. 

The Golf Cart Poker Run was rained on in the beginning and we postponed it for one hour but once everyone got started we had a blast. A new game was added at the Kelleys Island Winery, a Wine Ring Toss. This proved to be a BIG hit and will be done again next year. Thanks to Heineman's Winery, Hermes Winery, and of course our own KI Winery for their donations. 

The KI Winery Horseshoe tournament donated over $1,500 toward the swim and the Island Market's customer donations over $500. The total for Saturday's Golf Cart Poker Run was over $11,000. Add that to what we have had donated for the swim and we are well on our way. Our total for the 2014 swim to turn over to Make-A-Wish will be $31,000.

I would like to thank Cindra for being my swimming partner for all these years. I figure we have at least another 20 years to go before we give this up, even if we are only swimming from the Casino dock to Portside's. Many people and businesses have invested time and money to make this an island wide event now. 

Businesses to thank: Kelleys Island Ferry Boat line (Jim & Carmen), Portside Marina (Dr. Doug Bolden), Caddy Shack & Island House (Lynn & Bret), KI Winery (Kurt & Robbie), Village Pump (Jackie & Gary), Island Market (Rob & Kim), Casino & Westbay (Ted), Captains Corner (Lisa), Sharon and all our fantastic EMS staff, All Ports Yacht Club, Life Flight, Randy the Balloon man and his family, plus anyone else I have forgotten (I am sorry, brain still soggy). 

And most of all to everyone who donated. THANK YOU!  Till then, swim on.    

Jeni Hammond
Kelleys Island

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