Dr. Paul Kiell of Far Hills was the oldest swimmer, at 81, and 14-year-old Alex Klippel of Basking Ridge was the youngest in a group of local swimmers who this August achieved extraordinary aquatic feats to raise funds for programs at the Somerset Hills YMCA, according to a blog from the YMCA.
The four swimmers, Klippel and Martino Caretto of Basking Ridge, Kiell, and Sue Lawson from Bernardsville, banded together on Aug. 15 to successfully swim the turbulent waters around the island of Manhattan, a 28.5 mile journey, and to raise funds for the Y’s Saturdays in Motion program. Saturdays in Motion is a recreational program for children with autism and their families, which is held at the Somerset Hills YMCA.
The four-person relay team finished the arduous Manhattan Island Swim in 8 hours and 15 minutes, the blog said.
The swimmers have strong associations with the Saturdays in Motion program. Caretto’s son, Richard, was an ardent volunteer for the program prior to losing his life to bi-polar disorder. Klippel and Lawson, likewise, have been volunteers and Kiell has been a strong supporter of the program. Remarkably, as a result of the Manhattan Island Swim endeavor, the team raised $5,000 to support the Saturdays in Motion program at the Somerset Hills YMCA.
To add to their fundraising efforts for Y programs, Paul Kiell and Martino Caretto took on another open-water swim. On Saturday August 18, the two-man team successfully completed a 17.5 mile swim from Battery Park in Manhattan to Sandy Hook in New Jersey. This endeavor was to raise money for the Somerset Hills YMCA’s Camp Inspiration Program, which provides financial assistance to local families in need so their children can attend Y day and resident summer camps.
Finishing in 5 hours and 39 minutes, the two men completed the race in the middle of the 27 competitors from around the world. Kiell also spoke about how grateful he was to have learned to swim at summer camp when he was eight years old.
To read the full blog, click here.