Kay Trice has per­fect at­ten­dance for Santa Swim

Dorchester Star - - NEWS - By JACK RODGERS [email protected]­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — For Dorch­ester County res­i­dent Kay Trice, the an­nual Santa Swim event, where com­mu­nity mem­bers brave the cold and wade into the Chop­tank River in sup­port of the Care and Share fund of Dorch­ester County, is a hol­i­day.

Trice, who re­cently re­tired from her po­si­tion at the Dorch­ester County So­cial Ser­vices De­part­ment, has been in­volved in the Santa Swim since its in­cep­tion. The first time the Santa Swim took place, it hardly had a fol­low­ing, she said.

“It was a blow­ing, gusty day, just bit­ter cold, and I think there were maybe close to 20 par­tic­i­pants,” Trice said. “It ended up be­ing fun; I still have my gift of a red towel. It was the very first year and we had white caps.”

Care and Share fund of Dorch­ester County was formed ini­tially through the De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices’ vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tor — one of the rea­sons Trice de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in Santa Swim, she said. Trice said in ear­lier Santa Swims, she would gain sup­port­ers around the of­fice.

Trice said she would like to start vis­it­ing lo­cal busi­nesses to ask for in­di­vid­ual sup­port for the swim and likely will be able to do so for the event’s 18th an­nual swim Satur­day, Dec. 8. Trice should have lit­tle trou­ble find­ing fund­ing, as she was the top in­di­vid­ual con­trib­u­tor in 2016 with $500.

Just how much money has Trice raised in her 18 years of par­tic­i­pat­ing in Santa Swim?

“Oh, I would have no idea. I’ve never kept track of it,” Trice said.

Trice said she has con­tin­ued to come back to sup­port the event every year be­cause she en­joys it and en­joys sup­port­ing her lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“I en­joy the ca­ma­raderie,” Trice said. “You get a warm feel­ing in­side be­fore you ever hit the water talk­ing to the other Santa par­tic­i­pants be­fore you go in . ... It was meant to help peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who, through no other ser­vices, help them with needs that they might have.”

In­di­vid­u­als and groups have been gath­er­ing spon­sors for the Santa Swim. The Santa Swim­mers will be wad­ing into the Chop­tank at 10 a.m. with reg­is­tra­tion be­gin­ning at 9:15 a.m.

In 2017, 50 peo­ple plunged into the Chop­tank River dur­ing the snow­storm, rais­ing $25,000 to the Care and Share Fund of Dorch­ester.

The par­tic­i­pants raised $10,000 alone the day of the Santa Swim in 2017.

The Care and Share Fund, in ad­di­tion to the hol­i­day pro­grams, pro­vides aid to peo­ple who have crit­i­cal needs that pub­lic sources do not meet. Care and Share also pro­vides help with pre­scrip­tions, util­ity pay­ments to pre­vent cut­off and med­i­cal equip­ment, and of­fers a va­ri­ety of other ser­vices.

Par­tic­i­pants of the Santa Swim will be com­pet­ing for first place tro­phies in the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories: in­di­vid­ual, team, or­ga­ni­za­tion and busi­ness.

A Santa Swim team is a group of in­di­vid­u­als who raise funds to­gether. Teams may choose to take the plunge to­gether, or “pro­mote” a cap­tain to take the plunge. The rules do warn: “Throw­ing a mem­ber of the team into the river does not con­sti­tute the se­lec­tion of a cap­tain.”

Each Santa will re­ceive a Santa Claus hat on the day of the Swim. Santa’s elves will be on hand to give a towel to each Santa to wrap up in when they get out of the water.

There will be a “sur­vivors’ cel­e­bra­tion” im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the swim. In ad­di­tion to the en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided at that cel­e­bra­tion, prizes and awards will be handed out.

The Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake re­sort sup­ports the swim in nu­mer­ous ways, in­clud­ing do­nat­ing food to the cel­e­bra­tion af­ter the swim, pro­vid­ing soup, hot and cold bev­er­ages and other re­fresh­ments to swim­mers.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Santa Swim, visit www.care­and­share­fund.org.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Kay Trice raised $500, the most by any in­di­vid­ual, for the 16th an­nual Santa Swim in Cam­bridge in 2016.

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