Krossin' Keuka raises $64,000

John Christensen
The Keuka Cruisers pod leaves Point Neamo at Keuka College in the first of 17 boatloads of swimmers.

The ninth annual Krossin’ Keuka fundraiser for the Keuka Comfort Care Home will be remembered as one of the best ever. The 155 swimmers, ranging in age from their 80s to 8-years-old, in 17 pods, raised approximately $64,000 for the hospice house. For the second year in a row, the top fundraising pod was the Keuka Krawlers, who gathered $10,890 in donations. The top individuals were Benjamin Schwall, who raised over $5,305, and Amy Stewart, who raised over $4,470.

While not a race, times are kept by many swimmers as a mark of their achievement. First in and out of the water was the Keuka Cruisers pod; Rich Coffin was first out with a time of 13 minutes 30 seconds, welcomed by organizer Steve Heller, Mandy Hicks with 16:26 greeted by organizers Maureen Wise and Heller, and Mary Worth with 16:50. Coffin not only swam the .67 miles, but had bicycled over 10 miles to Keuka Park for the 6:30 a.m. start, including having to turn back for a flat tire.

Another spirited swimmer was Arianne Pepper, 63, who has swum every year except for 2014 because of a hip injury unrelated to the swim. She swam this year just four days before she was scheduled to have that hip replaced.