MARGATE – The public is invited to support Margate resident Victoria Dolceamore’s latest swimming adventure at a fundraiser being held Wednesday, June 13 in Margate and Longport.
The event starts at 4:30 p.m. with an open water swim clinic at Longport Beach Patrol Headquarters on the beach at 33rdAvenue in Longport. In the event of inclement weather, the clinic will be held in the Longport Community Building at the same location. A reception with light refreshments and cash bar follows at 5:30 p.m. at Bocca at Bocca Coal Fired Bistro, 7805 Ventnor Ave., in Margate.
Dolceamore, 50, will be participating in the first Swim Tayka English Channel Swim Relay in August and is raising money for the $2,150 entry fee.
“My biggest challenge and lifelong dream is to swim the English Channel,” said Dolceamore, who started open water swimming when she was 12 under the guidance of swim coach, teacher and later Atlantic City Mayor and New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan.
Last December, Dolceamore completed in the 30K Morocco Swim Trek, a 16.6-mile three-person relay in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Africa. She was the first female member of the Longport Beach Patrol and one of the first local residents to swim the 22.5-mile Around the Island Swim in 1991.
“Since then, I never looked back at the land,” she said.
The English Channel relay fits in nicely with her swimming goals, she said.
“Knowing what I know about the Channel, I don’t know if I’m ready for a solo swim, so I thought the relay would be a nice foundation for me to really understand all that it entails,” she said.
Swim Tayka is an international nonprofit organization that is working to build the next generation of confident swimmers and clean water stewards by providing swimming instruction and environmental education to disadvantaged children in waterside communities.
Between practicing open water swimming in the cold waters off Absecon Island, weight training to build strength for the Channel swim, carting her three young children off to school and activities, and studying for a doctorate in educational leadership at Drexel University, Dolceamore is planning the clinic to share her love of swimming and educate others about water safety and protecting the ocean.
“In the Andes region, ‘tayka’ means ‘mother.’ A mother teaches her children life skills and how to care for the planet,” she said, noting that more than 350,000 people die each year as a result of drowning, which is the leading cause of accidental death for children.
Swim Tayka’s educational campaign includes teaching the global community to conserve, protect and be good stewards of the water supply, she said.
“Nearly all of the open water on the planet is threatened by contamination, overfishing, shortages or climate change,” she said.
In addition to educating participants about what they can do to protect the water supply, Dolceamore hopes to reinvigorate interest in open water swimming locally.
Members of Downbeach beach patrols will assist her at the clinic, which is designed to be fun, informative and develop competitive skills for Absecon Island swimmers.
“One of my goals is to help the Absecon Island open water swimming community once again become the formidable competitor it once was on the global stage,” she said.
Entry bracelet cost is $10 and includes the clinic, reception and a donation to Swim Tayka.
For advance tickets and information, call Janet McCaron at 609-992-6577 or Victoria Dolceamore at 609-962-5546. Tickets will also be available at the door.