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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Being Best Buddies In The Water And On Land
"Our programs are flourishing and continuing to grow in our fourth year in Hawaii. This year we expanded by starting a new high school chapter in Lahaina on Maui. We also began our first high school and middle school programs on Oahu in Kapolei.
They are already showing great promise while our already established middle school and other four high school programs on Maui continue to attract many new members.
We want to congratulate the runner-up in the World Open Water Swimming Association Woman of the Year award, Karen Gaffney. Karen is a winner in and out of the water. She's an inspiration to many students, swimmers, and open water enthusiasts here on Maui."
Gaffney headlined the Wailea Molokini Challenge, a charity swim and paddle event in 2011 that benefited Best Buddies Hawaii and Ka Lima O Maui. It raised money and awareness for the diverse population of people with disabilities on Maui. Gaffney swam 6 miles from Wailea Beach on Maui (shown in the background above), circumnavigated Molokini volcanic crater island (shown in the foreground above), and then paddled 6 miles back. Gaffney was accompanied by Hawaiian channel swimmer and Maui resident Mike Spalding.
Gaffney started the Karen Gaffney Foundation, an organization that encourages inclusion for those with Down syndrome, while she was still in high school. What started back then as a senior project has evolved into a full-time passion. Today she traverses the country, giving around 30 presentations each year. She also presents workshops on the importance of physical fitness and started "The Friends First Network" in Portland schools to promote diversity awareness with a simple message. "I really want people to understand that we're more alike than we are different. I just want them to know about the tremendous capabilities of people with Down syndrome and I want to show them what is possible for people like me."
Just as Gaffney is making a positive difference in the world every day through her actions and swims, so are the Best Buddies in Hawaii.
Lower photo courtesy of Jim Gaffney.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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