CAMBRIDGE - The 2021 Care and Share Santa Swim will once again be hosted by the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Marina and Spa, this year on Dec. 11. Since 2002, the Hyatt has hosted this yearly tradition for the Care and Share Fund of Dorchester County.
The Santa Swim, first held in 2000, is a major fundraiser for the local nonprofit organization which was formed in 1998 to serve the less fortunate in Dorchester County.
Dedicated to helping individuals and families in need of assistance, the mission of Care and Share Dorchester with the assistance of the Maryland Department of Human Services is to help enhance vital needs such as dental and medical visits, prescriptions, eye care and other health concerns of the local community. Care and Share also helps provide financial assistance where the lack of necessities such as heat, water and electricity would create a health risk or a medical emergency.
Between now and Dec. 11, individuals will be gathering sponsors, while businesses and organizations will be forming teams to participate in the swim. Added to the event a few years ago was the Hot Tub Club: Participants who are unable to brave the “cool, crisp” waters of the Choptank River may make their donation and enjoy the warm soothing waters of the Hyatt Hot Tub, which will qualify them as a Santa Swim Helper.
A Santa Swim team is a group of individuals who raise funds together. Teams may choose to take the plunge together, or appoint a team captain to take the plunge. The more the merrier, however the rules do warn, "Throwing a member of the team into the river does not constitute the selection of a captain."
Each participant will receive a Santa hat the day of the swim, which will identify them as a Santa’s Helper and a Care and Share supporter. Led by Santa and Mrs. Claus, Santa’s Helpers will enter the Choptank River at 10 a.m., while Santa’s Elves will be handing out a warm towel to each participant as they come out of the chilly Choptank.
Supporting the Santa Swim in numerous ways including publicity, personnel and more, the Hyatt will host a Survivors’ Celebration immediately following the swim, in which survivors and their team members will be treated to hot and cold beverages, chili and other delicious treats all provided by the Hyatt. During the Survivors’ Celebration, trophies will be awarded to the top three fundraising teams, the top three individual participants and the top three “First Responder” teams.
Board President of the Care and Share Fund Dave Cannon said, “I deeply appreciate ‘Partners In Giving’ (formally Cambridge Quota) for their many years of support, not only by raising money but also by volunteering during the event and helping with registration. Also, I appreciate very much the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort's devotion and dedication to the community, in supporting organizations like ours throughout the year.”
Mr. Cannon’s statement continued, “Dorchester has always been known as the Heart of Chesapeake Country which not only applies to the shape of our county but more than that describes the dedicated people of in our community as well. They consistently volunteered time, effort and money to help meet the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. Even with the economy still in a recovery mode in this area, we have seen no lack of support for our fundraising efforts. In fact, the past several years we’ve had an awesome response from our community and the surrounding area. Still, much needs to be done to help vulnerable families and seniors when their misfortunes come. The board of directors and I would like to see our Santa Swim increase to where 15-20 teams compete every year and fundraising doubles.”
Mr. Cannon added, “We are very fortunate to have a wonderful board of directors who truly have caring hearts; however, we would love to add more members that have the same sense of compassion for our community.”
New to this year’s Santa Swim will be a silent auction table, made possible by generous donations from businesses throughout the community. Featured in the silent auction will be a helicopter ride touring the beautiful landscape of Dorchester County. There will also be door prizes along with a drop-off box for the Dorchester Santa’s Toy Drive sponsored by local business owners to support the Salvation Army in bringing joy to families during the Christmas season.
The Santa Swim will be held Saturday, Dec. 11, with on-site registration at 9:15 a.m., and the swim beginning at 10 a.m. For more information about the Santa Swim, pledge forms, to donate or to pre-register for the swim, visit the Care and Share Fund website at www.careandsharefund.org or contact Mike Wheatley at 443-521-4070 or Dave Cannon at 410-924-0321.