The 31st Annual Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla A Benefit for AIDS, Women’s Health, and the Community

For 31 years now swimmers and kayakers have crossed the 1.4-mile route from Long Point to the Boatslip for the Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla, a beloved community event that raises money for local non-profits. To date the Swim has raised over $5 million since its inception in 1988, with last year breaking a record with 421 swimmers raising over $225,000.

The festivities begin the night before at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House with the Celebration of Life, a free annual concert organized by John Thomas. The public will also have an opportunity throughout the weekend to view the Prayer Ribbons, an ever expanding archive and art installation begun in 1993 to in part commemorate the devastation that AIDS has had on the Provincetown community.

As is tradition, a local artist was asked to design this year’s Swim for Life t-shirt, with the 2018 honor going to Ellen LeBow, who created an image inspired by long term work in Haiti. And this year’s Swim for Life Volunteer Award goes to Cape Cod National Seashore lifeguard Gordon Miller, who since 1997 has organized the park service and other area lifeguards to keep participants safe.

Primary beneficiaries: AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC) and Helping Our Women (HOW). Community beneficiaries: Outer Cape Health Services, Provincetown Rescue Squad Association, Lower Cape Ambulance Association, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown (SKIP), Provincetown Schools, the Compact Community Fun, Accessible Provincetown, West End Racing Club, and Cape Cod Children’s Place.

Schedule of events, free and open to the public: 

Friday, September 7, 2018

1 p.m. – Swimmer Orientation (optional, not required)
2 p.m. – Kayaker Orientation (optional, not required)
Boatslip Resort Beach, 161 Commercial St.
8 p.m. – Celebration of Life Concert
UU Meeting House, 236 Commercial St.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, Boatslip Resort, 161 Commercial St.
(Storm date: September 9).

8:30 –10 a.m. – Kayak/Stand-up Paddle Boarders/Safety Boat Registration,
Boatslip Beach
9 – 10 a.m. – Swimmer Registration; Transport of swimmers to Long Point
10:30 a.m. – Swim for Life Begins at Long Point
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Public Greets Swimmers and Kayakers, Entertainment
12 – 2 p.m. – Mermaid Brunch: Catered by Far Land Provisions
1 p.m. (or after last swimmer arrives) Awards Ceremony

For more information on the Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla visit