Fourth of July, Bear Week, Carnival, and Labor Day Weekend. They all get a great deal of attention in Provincetown, Massachusetts. They gays flock to end of Cape Cod to enjoy the company of friends, new and old. Once these Summer festivities end, many may believe that P-town lessens in traffic, excitement, and prepares for winter. There are two events that say to everyone … not so fast. Both the Swim For Life and the Harbor To The Bay fundraising events keep the excitement and love going.
SWIM FOR LIFE
When people gather with passion and vision great things are accomplished. For over a quarter century, in one of the largest natural harbors in the world, thousands of swimmers braved its unpredictable waters − its chilly currents, surging tides, and their deep fears − raising $4M for AIDS, women’s health and the community.
Celebrating its 29th year, this quintessential Provincetown tradition symbolizes the heroic efforts of a community devastated by the pandemic and its unequivocal response to it. The Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla (a 1.4 mile swim) has become a catalyst for a nurturing community, offering connectedness, healthy exercise and continuity for those who return year after year. – swim4life.org
Every year mid summer, we hear of reports of sharks off of the coast of Cape Cod and my mind goes to my Boston friend Brian, who swims on the LANES team. "Whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or friends of the LGBT Community, Liquid Assets New England Swimming (LANES) is an inclusive team that celebrates diversity." He doesn't post too much on his Facebook about raising funds for the Swim For Life, but it's enough for me to think of him as shark bait while swimming across Provincetown Harbor. To my knowledge, there haven't been any issues of sharks and swimmers meeting during the Swim For Life. This is is 11th year doing the swim. He's not worried so I shouldn't be worried.
So why did this event start 29 years ago?
In the summer of 1988, Jay Critchley and Walter McLean wanted to test their swimming ability by swimming across Provincetown Harbor. That summer, many New England beaches were closed due to pollution, but the Cape-tip beaches remained swimmable. The two made the swim and two weeks later organized the first Swim for Life, which continues to celebrate the healing waters and ecology of the harbor, while raising money for local health services. The first year 18 swimmers raised $6,000. In 1993 the Provincetown Community Compact, Inc. was formed as a non-profit, 501 (c) 3, tax exempt organization, serving as a sponsor of the event.
Always held the weekend after Labor Day and the busy summer tourist season, the event has grown to attract swimmers, kayakers, volunteers and friends from throughout the country and abroad. With the assistance of 150 volunteers and 400 swimmers, this annual fall ritual has become an event that defines the best of the Provincetown spirit. – swim4life.org/history/
For more info on the Swim for Life, head over to their homepage at swim4life.org where you can learn about the event that is not only just a swim, but a weekend long function including a Mermaid Brunch, Prayer Ribbons, and a Celebration of Life Concert. For more pics of the event and this year's completed schedule (help you plan for next year?), skip down to the bottom of the page. And I think my friend Brian is still accepting donations, so if you want to help, go here.
HARBOR TO THE BAY
I would think my friends that are involved in the bar / tourism industry in Maine will have some free time as Labor Day comes to a close and all the tourists escape, but no. They're all busy this weekend riding their bikes. Sounds like a fun leisurely thing to do, that is if you think a 125 mile bike ride is a type of leisure.
As part of Harbor To The Bay President Jim Morgrage's message, he shares what the catalyst was for this ride.
Our ride began with an idea from our very brave terminally ill beloved friend, The late Michael Tye. Michael passed away after a long courageous battle against Multiple Myeloma Cancer. His idea was simple – A One day ride from Boston (Harbor) to Provincetown (Bay) with very low overhead, no salaries and a commitment that 100% of all rider pledges go directly to support our fight against HIV.
In 2003 Michael Tye and handful of Club Café staff and dedicated friends who shared our dream set out to launch the 1st Harbor to the Bay 126 mile, 1 day, AIDS bike ride. – harbortothebay.org
Once again Provincetown will be the endpoint of yet another great fundraiser, but it is a community, Cape, Boston, New England, National, worldly event. Boston is showing its support tonight with a Harbor to the Bingo will raise money for Harbor to the Bay and starts at 7PM at Club Cafe on Monday, Sept 12 in Boston. It starts in a couple hours. Sorry for the late notice, but if you go, say hello to Trampolina from us.
A one day bike ride from Boston to Provincetown
On Saturday, September 17, 2016, riders will have 3 options:
- Ride from Boston to Provincetown
- Ride from Boston to Sagamore
- Ride from Sagamore to Provincetown
Launched in 2003, Harbor to the Bay (H2B) has raised over $4 million for four local HIV/AIDS organizations; Fenway Health Center, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Community Research Initiative (CRI), and AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC). 100% of all rider-received pledges has gone directly to these beneficiaries.
- To donate 100% of rider-received pledges to our beneficiaries
- To increase awareness in our communities to help prevent HIV infection and to care for those already impacted by HIV/AIDS
- To improve community awareness of HIV/AIDS care and services, and to support those organizations that advance the quality and accessibility of HIV and AIDS care
- To organize a grass-roots event, supported by a dedicated group of individuals who want to ride and make a difference in our community
- Through our personal actions, to positively impact people living with HIV/AIDS – harbortothebay.org
For more info on or to donate to the Harbor to the Bay, head over to their homepage. Beneath the Swim For Life Schedule, you will find the Harbor To The Bay Schedule for this weekend. If you have rider you want to look up to donate to, use the participant search page or go to my friend Eddie's page and help him out.
Schedules for Swim For Life and Harbor To The Bay.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS – all events free and open to the public.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016Ceremony honoring the victims of the Orlando massacre with Prayer RibbonsProvincetown Town Hall. Looking for 49 people, each to read a name;procession to follow to Provincetown Library for display of ribbons – 1:00pm
Friday, September 9, 2016
Swimmer Orientation (optional, not required) – 1:00pm
Kayaker Orientation (optional, not required) – 2:00pm
Boatslip Beach Club beach, 161 Commercial Street
Celebration of Life Concert
UU Meeting House – 8:00pm, 236 Commercial Street (free) Signing of Prayer Ribbons
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, Boatslip Beach Club, 161 Commercial Street (Storm date September 11). Signing of Prayer Ribbons.
8:30-10:00am Kayak/Stand-up Paddle Boarders/Safety Boat Registration (on Boatslip beach)
9:00-10:00am Swimmer Registration, Boatslip Deck, Transport of swimmers to Long Point
11:00am Swim for Life Begins at Long Point
11:30am-2:00pm Public Greets Swimmers & Kayakers, Boatslip (Entertainment)
12:00-2:00pm Mermaid Brunch (public welcome, donations accepted), Boatslip deck
1:00pm (or after last swimmer arrives safely) Awards Ceremony
2016 PRE-RIDE AGENDA
Friday, Registration Day 09.16.16
1. Registration will start at 1:00 PM and close at 8:00 PM at Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave. Boston MA 02116, (617)536-0966.
If you cannot make it here FEAR NOT you can pick up everything on ride day at Copley Square or Sagamore.
2. Please bring all remaining pledges.
3. Pick up your rider pack, which will have your rider #, bracelet, and 2016 ride jersey.
4. Ride incentives: Gym Bag (raised $1500+) Hooded Sweatshirt (raised $2500+) or Ride Cap (top 50) will be available for pick up. First 10 to raise $5000+ Jetblue Coupons will be mailed to you in early November.
5. Drop off all luggage you would like taken to Provincetown.
6. See Safety Video.
7. Obtain parking vouchers.
8. RSVP for Sunday brunch at Tin Pan Alley.
*We apologize but we will be unable to store your bikes the night before the ride. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to do this and it is most important that we honor our pledge to give back 100% to our beneficiaries.
If your friends and family want to meet you, here are the H2B 2016 Pit Stop Locations
2016 RIDE DAY
Saturday Ride Day 09.17.16
WE WILL BE RIDING OUT OF HISTORIC COPLEY SQUARE AND WILL ONCE AGAIN BE HAVING BREAKFAST AT TRINITY CHURCH
Our heartfelt thanks to the Gay and Lesbian Fellowship at Trinity Church for making this happen.
Boston Ride Start at Trinity Church (125 mile ride)
4:30AM – 5:00AM Crew and Rider Check-in 5:00AM – 6:00AM Breakfast
6:05AM – 6:15AM Stretching
6:15AM – 6:30AM Opening Ceremonies 6:30AM – 6:40AM Ride out
6:45AM Boston Start Location closes.
Any rider arriving after 6:30 AM will need to start at Sagamore.
Sagamore Ride Start Bridge (68 mile ride)
8:15 AM Crew and Volunteers arrive 9:00 AM – 10:15AM Rider and Crew Check-in 8:30 AM – 9:30AM Breakfast
10:15 AM Opening Remarks
10:30 AM Ride out
2016 POST-RIDE AGENDA
1. Sign in with the H2B Crew upon arriving at the Harbor Hotel.
2. Pick up gear and luggage, and transport it to your lodging. Luggage must be picked up by 6:40PM!
3. Riders are welcome to leave the Harbor Hotel after checking in.
HOWEVER we could use all of you to help us welcome in the late riders so please if possible hang around and head out to the ride end to cheer in your fellow riders. Thanks.
4. Return to the Harbor Hotel by 6:45PM.
Services Available at the Harbor Hotel:
• Medical attention
• Massage therapy (based on availability)
• Food and drink – We encourage you to eat!
• Limited bike repair
6:30PM Riders meet at the Harbor Hotel for celebratory group ride to the Boatslip 7:00PM Crew congregates at the Boatslip
7:00PM Riders depart the Harbor Hotel 7:00PM Harbor Hotel site closes 7:15PM Riders arrive at the Boatslip
7:30PM Closing Ceremonies begin at the Boatslip
8:00PM Dinner opens at the Boatslip. Free for registered riders and crew. RSVP and purchase tickets for friends/family at friday registration or online at
9:30PM Closing Ceremonies end
If luggage is not picked up at the Harbor Hotel by 6:40PM Saturday night, it will be available at Aids Support Group office on Bradford St. on Monday, 9/19/16. It will not be available before this time, and it cannot be shipped.
Participants are responsible for transporting their luggage, bikes, and gear back to Boston. No luggage or bikes will be transported back on the H2B trucks.
Sunday Brunch 09.18.16
9:00am – 12:00pm at Tin Pan Alley. Free for registered riders and crew. RSVP and purchase tickets for friends/family at Friday registration or online at harbortothebay.org
2017 RIDE DAY 9/23!
Save the date for next year’s ride. We look forward to riding with you again!