Kiwanis Double Cross on Saturday
Stephen Uhler/Pembroke Daily Observer/Postmedia Network Bob McLaughlin treads water shortly after completing the Kiwanis Double Cross Swim in 2016. He swam five kilometres starting at the Pembroke Marina, heading over to Quebec and then returning. The 33rd annual swim is being held this Saturday.
The few, the brave and the aquatic are challenging the Ottawa River this Saturday morning.
On Aug. 12 around 8 a.m., a handful of swimmers will enter the water at the Pembroke Marina for the 33rd annual double cross swim. Some will attempt to swim back and forth from Allumette Island for a total of 5 km, while others will embark from the Quebec side of the river for a single cross.
The event, run by the Kiwanis Club of Pembroke, raises funds for the service club, which will be used to fund numerous projects to help disadvantaged children.
Bob McLaughlin, Kiwanis Club past president, founder and participant of the swim, said a total of five swimmers have agreed to take part in this tradition, swimming to Desjardinsville and back. He hasn’t missed it yet, and will return for his 33rd year.
He said there will also be escorts of several kayaks and a boat to ensure the swimmers are safe.
McLaughlin said the club loves doing this, and they do have volunteers who are willing to help out. He thanks the hard work of the volunteers who escort the swimmers on the water and the sponsors who make everything happen.
It is hoped between $6,000 and $8,000 will be raised by the event.
“The public and sponsors are always very, very supportive,” McLaughlin said, “and without that generosity, this wouldn’t happen.”
The Kiwanis double cross swim started in 1984 and has remained a long standing tradition in Pembroke, in which swimmers head out from the Pembroke Marina to swim across the river to Desjardinsville on the Quebec side, and back.
Spectators are welcome to come out to the marina Saturday morning and cheer on the swimmers. They are scheduled to enter the water at 8 a.m., and should start returning around 9 a.m.