‘Swimarathon’ makes a splash to raise $1m

Swimarathon EMN-161205-110607001
Swimarathon EMN-161205-110607001
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Members of the Rotary Club of Grantham are celebrating reaching a milestone fund-raising mark – after helping to raise more than $1m as part of the Rotary Global Swimarathon.

Back in February 2012, the Rotary Club of Grantham organised the first-ever Rotary Global Swimarathon , with the aim of breaking the Guinness World Record for the most number of people swimming simultaneously.

They managed to encourage Rotary clubs all over the world to host their own events, similar to the highly successful Rotary Swimarathon that has been held in Grantham for the past 27 years.

Most importantly, all of the fun has been to raise funds to help end polio – a worldwide campaign launched by the Rotary back in the 1980s.

This year, the Rotary has collectively raised more than $248,000 – which means that overall, since the first event in 2012, the total amount raised has passed $1m.

In 2016, a total of 80 events in 22 countries, featuring 4,500 swimmers – clocking up 998.75 miles between them – has raised a total of $202,596 for End Polio Now and a further $46,188 for other charities, bringing the overall total raised for End Polio Now to $1,030,005.

Grantham Rotarian Roger Graves said: “When we first floated the idea of a global event nobody thought we could pull it off, but the dedication of a few Rotarians around the world has transformed a distant dream into stunning reality.

“It has been a long journey – yes, we became Guinness World Record holders, and yes, we have secured the future of ‘Rotary Swimarathon around the world, but most importantly we have raised so much money and vaccinated two million children which is just unbelievable.

“My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone.”