ALEXANDRIA — The success of Swim With A Mission’s debut in 2017 has ensured the return this year of the Navy SEALs, along with swimmers, kayakers, and paddleboarders who come together to celebrate and honor all veterans.

This year’s Swim With A Mission is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, at Wellington State. The day will feature open water swimming races across the cleanest lake in New England, followed by a festival of food, music, children’s activities and live demonstrations by the Navy SEALs and their K-9 unit.

Last year’s event raised more than $370,000, and drew thousands of spectators as the group of the elite Navy SEALs jumped from a helicopter into the lake and then demonstrate how to rescue a hostage. Retired Master Chief and famous Navy SEAL Rick Kaiser took questions from the crowd, and the SEAL K-9 unit stole the show and the hearts of everyone as they demonstrated why they are now vital members of the SEAL teams in combat.

Swimmers who want to participate this year can sign up for the individual 1K, 5K or 10K distances, or put a team of up to five swimmers together to race in a relay format over a 10K course. Details and registration information is posted at www.swimwithamisison.org.

The event also has a need for volunteers to kayak, paddleboard and help on the beach.

At 11 a.m., after the swim races, the public will have an opportunity to meet the Navy SEALs and enjoy the many activities offered. There will be a Kids Zone, food and drink provided by the Common Man, Sam Adams, Jack Daniels, Coca-Cola, and Lakes Region vendors, and other entertainment. The New Hampshire National Guard will be displaying a Blackhawk helicopter and Humvees. Several veteran service organizations will be on hand to talk about their respective missions. The SEALs will again talk with the crowd, followed by a SEALs capabilities demonstration, jumping from helicopters and doing a land demonstration. Finally, the K-9 unit will demonstrate its capabilities.

Phil Taub, who with his wife Julie founded Swim With A Mission, said, “There are over 110,000 veterans in New Hampshire, and we were really surprised at how many need help. So we started this event as a way to honor our veterans and raise money to help the many service organizations that serve our veterans.”

“This is a great concept, not only to showcase the specialized training necessary to become part of our special operations forces, but also to raise money to help those who have made incredible sacrifices for our country,” said Rick Kaiser, executive director of the Navy SEAL Museum. “I think the participants who turn out to this event will be amazed at the skills on display by your Navy SEALs.”

Proceeds from the event will support the Navy SEAL Museum, Veterans Count, Children of the Fallen Patriots, the Dan Healy Foundation and the Harbor Homes Plymouth Project.

This article was originally published in The Laconia Daily Sun.

BRISTOL — Organizers are seeking volunteers and participants for a fundraising event on Newfound Lake to benefit veterans.

The second Swim With A Mission, which features open-water races and demonstrations by Navy SEALs, is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, on Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park. “There are over 110,000 Veterans in New Hampshire and we were really surprised at how many need help,” said Phil Taub, who founded SWAM with his wife, Julie. “So we started this event as a way to honor our veterans and raise money to help the many service organizations that serve our veterans.”

The inaugural SWAM raised more than $370,000 last July, when about 1,000 spectators and hundreds of swimmers took part.

Swimmers can register for the 1K, 5K and 10K distances as individuals or teams of up to five for a 10K relay.

After the races, Navy SEALs will demonstrate jumping from a helicopter and other maneuvers.

Taub, a triathlete and attorney with Nixon Peabody LLP, said he got the idea for the fundraiser while attending a demonstration at the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., and thought Newfound Lake would serve as a great host location.

Rick Kaiser, executive director of the Navy SEAL Museum and a retired master chief with the elite unit, said the SEALs are excited to be back again this summer for the 2018 SWAM.

“This is a great concept, not only to showcase the specialized training necessary to become part of our special operations forces, but also to raise money to help those who have made incredible sacrifices for our country,” Kaiser said in a release. “I think the participants who turn out to this event will be amazed at the skills on display by your Navy SEALs.”

The SEAL Museum is one of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser. Proceeds will also go to Veterans Count, Children of the Fallen Patriots, the Dan Healy Foundation and the Harbor Homes Plymouth Project.

Swimmers wishing to participate need to raise at least $500 each, $1,500 per relay team of three, $2,000 for a team of four and a minimum of $2,500 for a team of five.

SWAM is also seeking volunteers to kayak, paddle board and help on the beach.

People interested in swimming or volunteering can find details at http://swimwithamission.org/.

By Doug Alden
This article was originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.