Kiwanis Double Cross Swim reels in $8,200
The four swimmers who took part in this year's Kiwanis Double Cross Swim were (from left) Bob McLaughlin, Bill Burgess, Brendan Oattes and Heidi Hugli. Burges was awarded for achieving the fastest time in the double cross (1 hour and 40 minutes). Oattes was awarded for reaching first place in the single cross (47 minutes) and for having raised the most pledges as a non-Kiwanian.
The 33rd annual Kiwanis Double Cross saw four brave swimmers challenge the Ottawa River to raise $8,200 for disadvantaged children.
The double cross is 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, about a 5 km round trip. There are also single crossers, who are taken over by boat and start the swim from Quebec. All of the pledges and donations raised from the charitable swim will go towards the Kiwanis Cub, to be used to fund numerous projects to help disadvantaged children.
“The Kiwanis Club is doing what it has always done and Bob McLaughlin is fabulous. This is the 33rd year he's organized and participated in this to raised funds needed to help these kids. So I think it's great and I’m pleased with the support,” said Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay who was among the spectators cheering on the swimmers at the event.
This year’s participants were Kiwanis Club past-president and Double Cross Swim organizer Bob McLaughlin, Bill Burges, Brendan Oattes and Heidi Hugli.
As they traversed across the Ottawa River from the Quebec side to the Pembroke Marina, the swimmers’ heads and arms could be seen splashing the water in the distance as volunteers followed alongside in kayaks.
In the single cross, Brendan Oattes was the first to arrive back to shore with a time of 47 minutes, he was followed by Heidi Hugli with a time of 54 minutes.
“It was a little bit tiring but I just pushed myself to do it and it went well. It's short-term pain for long-term gain and it's good to be helping out these kids with disabilities,” said Oattes.
In the double cross, Bill Burgess came in first with a time 1 hour and 40 minutes. Bob McLaughin arrived only one minute later with his time of 1 hour and 41 minutes.
McLaughlin has participated in the swim every year since he and the Kiwanis Club founded the charitable event in 1984.
McLaughlin expressed thanks towards the three other swimmers, the volunteers who escorted them in kayaks and the sponsors who made everything happen.
“This was Bill's first time participating and he did very well. This was also and Brandon and Heidi's first time and we're delighted to have these younger kids taking part,” said McLaughlin.
He added that he couldn't be happier with how everything turned out, with sunny skies and calm conditions to make it a perfect day for swimming.
“I'm delighted with how it turned out. We're always grateful for the support we get and we had a perfect day for it – the weather was great, there was no wind, no rain, it was perfect,” he said.