The Westport Y Water Rats and Staples swimmers weren’t kidding when they said they’d raise money for Haiti.
Today they — and the Westport Swim Club — presented Save the Children with more than $45,000. The funds came from this week’s Swim for Haiti event.
On Tuesday — just 3 weeks after the earthquake — more than 250 swimmers ages 6-66 swam as hard as they could, at the Y and Staples. For the adults and teenagers, that meant over 3 miles each. Younger swimmers did 200 relay laps.
Sponsorship money poured in from across the country — and Canada, France, even New Zealand.
Peggy Mevs, a lawyer at GE Capital, created Swim for Haiti with help from her husband Ronald Wimer, and Linda Bruce, whose son Cameron is a Staples swim team captain.
Peggy — who was born in Port-au-Prince — has family members who were affected by the quake. Her children, Max and Gabby Wimer, swim in Westport.
“I’m delighted by outcome,” she said. “When we went home Tuesday night we knew we had cleared $30,000, but to see another $15,000 come in during the next two days – that’s amazing.
“All this support means a lot to me. I left Haiti when I was 7, but I have cousins who never left. When they tell me about the devastation I can’t understand how they can cope. I know Haitians need any help they can get. That’s why I felt I had to do something.”
Pledges are still coming in, and Swim for Haiti will deliver them to Save the Children later this month. Mevs encourages people who did not pledge to send checks directly to Save the Children, or make a donation online and reference “Westport Swim for Haiti.”