Peace Frogs Annual Bank to Bank Charity Swim Raises Thousands to Benefit Laurel Shelter and Rural Infant Services Program

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Twelve swimmers took to the York River for a three-mile open water swim from Felgates Creek on the Colonial Parkway to a private residence in Gloucester, Va.

Twelve swimmers took to the cold York River Memorial Day weekend for the Peace Frogs Bank-to-Bank Charity Swim.

It’s about coming together in support of something that’s bigger than us. It’s about coming together to ensure children less fortunate than our own will be taken care of today and in years to come.

Twelve swimmers from across the region, and as far as Washington DC, took to the York River Sunday, May 26 and swam three miles in open water from Felgates Creek along the Colonial Parkway to a private residence on the Gloucester bank.

They muscled through the changing tide, cold water and wind not only in support of the annual Peace Frogs Bank-to-Bank Swim, but also for children.

In this, the 9th annual charity swim hosted by the Gloucester-based Peace Frogs clothing and gifts company, the swimmers each raised $1,000 individually or as part of a team to support children’s charities in Tidewater, Va.

Each year the Bank-to-Bank Swim benefits various charities that support children. The 2013 event supports the Laurel Shelter and Rural Infant Services Program.

Swimmers included Catesby Jones, President and Founder of Peace Frogs, Peter Wilcox, Richard Briggs, Karen Kovacs, Carly Carson, Ron Watkins, Terry Johnson, Tony Negron, Owen Ulsacker, Ron Meyers, Sandi Buckheister and Tucker Witt.

“This is so much more than a swim,” Jones said. “It’s about coming together in support of something that’s bigger than us. It’s about coming together to ensure children less fortunate than our own will be taken care of today and in years to come."

In the nine years of the swim, “we have raised nearly $150,000 for children’s charities,” Jones said.

Without the participation of philanthropic minded swimmers, Jones said, “we could have never done this.”

The Laurel Shelter opened in 1997 in Gloucester, Va. to provide shelter for domestic violence victims. The shelter added a Sexual Assaults Crisis Center in 1999.

“We have 19 beds and this year at one point we had 34 people at the shelter,” said the Laurel Shelter director, Sherry Stone. “How? It’s the kids.”

Stone said the funds from the Peace Frogs Bank to Bank Charity Swim will support summer activities for the children living at the shelter this summer – from Boys and Girls Club memberships to sporting activities and camps.

“A lot of people think of just the women when they think about the shelter,” said Laurel Shelter coordinator, Sandy Thornton. “But a lot of women bring their children because they don’t have anywhere else to go.”

It is hard on the children, Stone added.

“They are in a new place, they can’t tell their friends where they are.”

The Rural Infant Services Program provides services for infants and toddlers with special needs. Most of the services take place in the family’s home and can include physical, occupational and speech therapies, family support and educational materials and equipment.

The monies raised each year go to the Peace Frogs Bank-to-Bank Fund.

The fund is administered by the Gloucester Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. The fund is designated to support children of the Tidewater, Va. region.

Donations are still welcome anytime at http://www.tcfrichmond.org/peacefrogs.

About Peace Frogs:

Established more than 25 years ago by Catesby Jones, the Virginia-based Peace Frogs apparel company promotes positively peaceful living.

The apparel and gift products are featured online, in more than 800 specialty stores around the world and via an annual catalog. With 16 free standing stores and 20 licensees, the Peace Frogs brand grows in popularity each year.

For more information about Peace Frogs, contact Catesby Jones at catesby(at)mindspring(dot)com.

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Stephanie Heinatz
Consociate Media
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