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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Starlight, Starbright, The First 6 Mermaids We See Tonight

In 2008 six women got together to show what a group of women over 50 could accomplish if they banded together.

Tracy Grilli, Christie Ciraulo, Jenny Cook, Nancy Steadman-Martin, Lisa Bennett and Karen Einsidler are all top masters swimmers from all over the country: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia (now Florida) and California. They decided to call themselves the Mighty Mermaids.

As a recent breast cancer survivor, Karen Einsidler thought their first adventure should help raise money to support the clinic where she was treated. Their first adventure was across Lake Tahoe where they raised more than $7,000 and set the standard for the swim in their age group.

Finding joy in that journey, they decided to find one swim each year that would be challenging and raise money for a worthy cause. These swims have included a second Lake Tahoe race, the length of Lake Tahoe (which had yet to be done by a relay), Catalina Channel, and a swim around the Manhattan Island.

This year the Mighty Mermaids set their sights on Lake Winnepesaukee, a beautiful lake in New Hampshire where Einsidler's triplets are currently camping at Camp Winaukee. The Director of Camp Winaukee is an avid swimmer and for the past few years hosted an event at the camp to swim laps in the lake between two docks to raise money for Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The Mighty Mermaids decided that they wanted to be part of this effort with the campers. On July 25th the boys at Camp Winaukee swam thousands of laps to support Starlight and on July 26th the Mighty Mermaids swam 25 miles across Lake Winnipesaukee in 10 hours 30 minutes. "Despite constant rain and wind, the water conditions were perfect for the Mermaids fundraising effort for the Starlight Children’s Foundation," said Ciraulo. "More than US$20,000 and counting has been raised in conjunction with Camp Winaukee. The money will be used to purchase electronics, computers and software for pediatric oncology centers, to be used by children undergoing chemotherapy. For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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