Krossin' Keuka raises $50,000 for Keuka Comfort Care Home

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Weather delayed the annual Krossin' Keuka for a day, but it didn't make a dent in the generosity of the donors who raised $50,000.

Postponed on July 28 due to a storm stalled over Keuka Lake, Krossin’ Keuka 2012 was held the next day. It was a perfect day for the swimmers, paddlers, and boaters who finished what they had come for and for all the volunteers that make it such a successful event.   Over $50,000 has been raised for Keuka Comfort Care Home thus far, with more donations coming in every day.

The swimmers were put into pods of 10 swimmers and taken by pontoon boats to the other side of the lake from Point Neamo at Keuka College, where they plunged in and swam back to the beach, approximately .67 of a mile.  The average swim time was 20 minutes, with some coming in at 13 and 15 minutes.

The swim channel was marked with buoys and lined with kayakers who helped guide the swimmers on their journey, cheered them on, and lent support to tired swimmers. Lifeguards along with the Yates County Sheriff’s Boat Patrol Unit ensured the safety of the swimmers and volunteers.

Swimmers were required to raise at least $100 from sponsors, but most far exceeded that amount.  This year, prizes were randomly awarded to swimmers in three categories.  First prize, a seaplane ride over the Finger Lakes donated and piloted by Rob Kinyoun, was drawn from all swimmers that raised over $1,000.  Jen Smith’s name was drawn and she was thrilled to fly over the area, something she had never done before.  Jen and her family have been great supporters of Krossin’ Keuka, dedicating their swim each year to Jen’s mother, Gail Wadsworth, who passed away at Keuka Comfort Care Home in 2009.

Second prize, a pottery vase donated by Sommerville Pottery, was drawn from all the swimmers who raised between $750 and $1,000.  A turned bowl, crafted by Ken Hubbell, was awarded to a swimmer who raised between $500 and $750. A turned vase, crafted by Jim Carey was awarded to the swimmer who turned in the most sponsors. Spectators were also eligible to win a prize just for coming and showing their support of the swim.

Two members of the Lapp family from Wood-Tex Products registered to swim and offered to donate the use of a Wood-Tex Storage Shed during the event to allow a private place for swimmers to change their clothes.  After the postponement on Saturday, the building came in handy to store all the items needed for the next day.

Rooms were available at Keuka College for out-of-town families lodging.  One guest had attended Keuka and was excited to stay in one of the newly renovated rooms in Ball Hall.

Creekside Entertainment played lively beach music and provided the equipment for WFLR’s Mike Smith, who swam in the event and came out of the water to be the announcer, keeping spectators and participants informed when swimmers crossed the finish line. Refreshments, donated by Tops and Indian Pines, were welcomed by everyone who participated.

Swimmers came from as far away as Japan, North Carolina, Texas and Indiana, as well as from all over New York State. Several pods were made up of family members swimming in honor of a loved one.  Team Brenda even had tee-shirts made up for their pod. One swimmer started out as a pod captain two years ago, became a swimmer last year and this year recruited a woman he had seen walking down the road offering to pay her sponsorship if she swam as part of his pod.  She, in turn, recruited her husband to be a pod captain.  Three swimmers who happened to be vacationing that week, saw Krossin Keuka signs around the area, and after reading about the swim in the Summer Issue of The Chronicle-Express, decided that day to register to swim.  Some swam because of their love of the lake; some swam in memory of a loved one.  They all swam for a cause, Keuka Comfort Care Home.

Keuka Comfort Care Home is located at 35 East Lake Rd, overlooking Keuka Lake.  It is a two bedroom, palliative care home that provides services for terminally ill residents from Yates County and beyond at no cost to them, their families or their insurance companies.  Keuka Comfort Care Home relies on fundraising events such as Krossin’ Keuka to help offset the $200,000 operating costs.  In addition to the monies raised from these events, Keuka Comfort Care Home also relies on the extremely dedicated volunteer network that serves it through actual time spent at the home, as well as the events.  Without such a network of support and dedication their services would not be possible.

For more information on Keuka Comfort Care Home, volunteer opportunities or upcoming events, visit or call at 315-536-1690.  For more information on Krossin’ Keuka, visit

Weather delayed the annual Krossin' Keuka for a day, but it didn't make a dent in the generosity of the donors who raised $50,000.