August 22, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog has had the privilege of seeing many heroes in action in her life and while they look different and fight for different causes, they all have one trait in common: a vision of a world that can be made better by their personal action.

Sometimes this awakening comes after a life-changing occurrence; sometimes it comes as gratitude for a life well blessed; sometimes it comes through wisdom and age and experience.

The amazing heroes are the ones with visions that seem to come built in…the ones that drive and compel incredible action at an early age because it is as natural part of their makeup to strive to make a difference. Heroes like 14 year old Annaleise Carr…

Exhausted, but Jubilant Annaleise Carr Completes Lake Ontario crossing
Tim Alamenciak Staff Reporter, thestar.com, Toronto Star

As Annaleise Carr touched the wall at Marilyn Bell Park shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday, she became the youngest girl ever to swim the 52-kilometre crossing from Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Even after the brutal 27-hour ordeal, a goggle-clad Carr smiled wide as she laid hands on the rungs of a ladder that would lead her out of the lake she had just conquered. Carr’s hero has always been Marilyn Bell, who made the first Lake Ontario crossing in 1954 at the age of 16.

Clearly exhausted, Carr waved briefly before she was whisked off to the hospital by ambulance for a thorough checkup, as is routinely done after such swims.

Carr embarked on the swim to raise money for Camp Trillium — a summer camp for children with cancer. She entered the water Saturday around 6:15 p.m. and set a brisk pace at the start, but faced major setbacks overnight.

Carr began with a goal of raising $30,000 for Camp Trillium but exceeded that last week. She then set a new goal of $50,000. This goal was exceeded Sunday while she was swimming, buoyed by a single donation of $10,000. Cheers rang out from the fleet of boats, sending her a wave of inspiration. She has now raised more than $90,000, and the team says more donations are coming in daily. Carr also raised the $15,000 required to fund the expedition.

The motivation provided by the $10,000 donation was much needed — Saturday night brought high winds and swells of more than a metre. A passing ship stirred up cold water and errant sail boats skated through the flotilla. But Carr persevered.

The teen, from Walsh, Ontario, a hamlet in Norfolk County, was given food and water every hour. The water was delivered by tethered bottles and the food passed using a lacrosse stick. Based on the rules set by Solo Swim Ontario, she was not allowed to touch any boats throughout the swim.

Overnight, a blue light on Carr’s head bobbed up and down through fierce winds and tumbling surf. She made slow progress, but kept steady on her path under conditions that made travel difficult even for the boats accompanying her.

She didn’t come away from the night unscathed — her pace was much slower during the early morning hours. Carr rallied in the late morning as the sun warmed the water and winds calmed. Pace swimmers also increased the motivation by swimming beside Carr.
Her last leg was met with a mild north wind and current — both working with her, but she was visibly exhausted from the swim. The water became choppy and she struggled in it, but the water soon leveled out.

The navigation boat, a 31-foot sailboat named Ceilidh, rode in front of Carr the whole weekend. Onboard crew used specialized instruments to measure currents, guiding Carr on what appeared to be a crooked path but took advantage of currents that could help her.

Donations to support Camp Trillium can be made through the website raiseathon.ca/arc/


Brian said...

That young lady is an inspiration to all of us!

haopee said...

That's amazing. I couldn't even swim for a couple of minutes and she did it overnight?

Carr is an amazing person. It just shows how people can exceed their expectations when doing it for a good cause.

Huggies and Cheese,


Remington said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing -- great post!

ra husky said...

Amazing! Maybe she will attempt (& complete) the notorious Cuba to Florida swim one day??!!

RA, Isis & NanĂ¼k

Random Felines said...

wow.....we are certainly inspired (ok, not to swim but you get the point)

Amber DaWeenie said...

And what an inspiration she is. Great job!

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh My Gosh, what an absolutely wonderful young woman. Well done to her. It is young people like this who make the world a positive and wonderful place. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)

meowmeowmans said...

What an amazing young woman! She is truly an inspiration ... we can all make a difference in our own way!

Wyatt said...

All we can say is "WOW"! What an inspiration she is!

Wyatt and family