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Monday, November 4, 2013

MarineMax Provides Outstanding Support For Frogman

Swimmers and race directors often look to Speedo or other swimsuit product companies for sponsorship.

It is difficult for Speedo or any swimsuit company to accept, let alone review, all the sponsorship requests that come in.

But it is always nice to see a great fit between an event sponsor and an open water swim. This is exactly the kind of relationship between the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim and MarineMax.

MarineMax provides the on-the-water support craft in the January charity swim. But the support is something more than equipment. Bret Skonicki, Vice President of Products, explains, "Nearly 40 people from our corporate office and Clearwater store volunteered this year. Despite the early morning start times, many of us were up at 4:30 a.m., the event is more rewarding than we can possibly express.

A good indicator of this is the number of returning volunteers from last year. We have amazing people that work in our company and I'm truly blessed and humbled to be associated with all of them and am so proud to represent MarineMax as a senior leader at this event

Everyone has their own personal reasons as to why the Frogman Swim touches them emotionally and spiritually, but at the core, everyone is volunteering or swimming for those brave men that have served and their families.

As one swimmer approached the finish line, one of the people in the kayak accompanying him dove from the kayak into the water. It turned out that the kayaker, who has special needs, was the son of the swimmer. The boy swam the last 30 yards with his father, who was chanting the boy's name and cheering him on as they ran across the finish line together. I'm amazed at the passion and drive of each swimmer, and this fundraiser has done so well largely because the swimmers ask everyone they know to contribute even $5, $10, $20. It all adds up. These donations can take some of the stress off a wife or child of a SEAL, and that is amazing. The funds support funeral costs, help with medical costs for injured SEALs and help to provide for the education of SEALs' children or spouses

Kurt Ott, Race Coordinator of the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim, says "It’s the complete attitude change when crossing the finish line. During a competitive race when pushing myself, lungs burning, swallowing salt water, shoulders aching, sometimes I question why I am doing this. Then as I cross the finish line my immediate thoughts are, that was so awesome and fun…. I can’t wait to do it again."

…with the outstanding help of MarineMax.

Photo above shows Bill McGill, founder and CEO of MarineMax whose motto is United by Water.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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