Lake Ontario swim raises $115,000
PORT DOVER, Ont.—As metre-high waves crashed down upon 14-year-old Annaleise Carr in the chilly waters of Lake Ontario in the middle of the night, the money she was raising to send kids with cancer to camp kept her going.
The Ontario teenager, believed to be the youngest person ever to swim across the lake, raised $115,000 with her 27-hour swim from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto for Camp Trillium.
“As I got into the water on Saturday, I just kept thinking about Camp Trillium and what I was doing it for,” she noted.
“I didn’t want to give up when I thought about how much the kids at Camp Trillium have been through and what they have to go through their entire lives.”
Through the night, the water started to become wavy and the swim got tougher and tougher, Carr recalled.
When the morning light broke, a pacer helped lift her spirits by making funny faces, she said.
“Then I started getting updates on how much money I’d raised and it was going up like crazy,” Carr remarked.
“I got told $50,000 and I was already over my goal and I started swimming harder. I got told $60,000 and I didn’t want to stop.”
The tally kept climbing and Carr said she knew she couldn’t stop.
“When I was about a kilometre away, I could hear everyone and start seeing lights,” she said.
“That’s when I heard that I had gotten over $100,000. I was like really excited,” she added.
Donations for Carr’s swim will send 115 children to camp for 10 days.
Carr, who is from the tiny community of Walsh in southern Ontario, said it took a while to convince her parents to let her do the 52-km swim.
She wanted to help kids at Camp Trillium, but volunteers had to be 18 years old.
The idea to swim across Lake Ontario started as a joke, but her parents got behind it once they saw how many rules and regulations were attached, she said.