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Holly Vacchina, the 2020 Berkshire South Regional Community Center Swim-a-thon ambassador, swims at last year's swim-a-thon. Last year she swam one mile. This year her goal is 100 lengths - an increase of nearly half.

Swim-A-thon Fundraiser for Adaptive Needs Announces Ambassador

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire South Regional Community Center has announced Holly Vacchina as this year's Swim-A-Thon ambassador.

A critical fundraiser for Adaptive Needs programs at Berkshire South, the 10th annual Swim-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, March 7, in the Norris Aquatics Center. Swimming begins at 8 a.m.

Vacchina is one of the more than 16,500 patrons who use the therapy pool annually, more than 50 each day. It is the only warm-water therapy pool of its type in South County. Berkshire South's adaptive needs initiatives include free swim lessons, class modifications, fitness classes and specialized equipment for individuals of all abilities.

"Without Swim-A-Thon there is a whole population that might not be able to use our facility. This is an event in which we focus on the spirit of the participants," said Jenise Lucey, BSRCC executive director.

Berkshire South's Adaptive Needs programming teaches valuable life skills. Those who cannot walk independently on land are taught to navigate without restriction in water. Individuals with autism often find the water very calming, and after spending time swimming, are better able to focus and interact. Aquatic exercise improves range of motion and balance, while simultaneously increasing strength. All instruction is geared towards the unique strengths and challenges of each participant in our individualized classes which are taught by highly trained staff.

Vacchina is proud to be this year's ambassador.

"My favorite thing is the lovely attitude of the Berkshire South staff," she said. "They don't treat me like I am different, but everyone encourages me. They [are] quick to tell me and congratulate me when I improve. I am thrilled to be the ambassador and I hope I can raise lots of money."

Minimum participant donation this year is $20. All funds go toward BSRCC's Adaptive Needs Programs. Swimmers have up to two hours to swim up to 200 pool lengths, but they are able to choose to swim any shorter length or timeframe they wish. Swim-A-Thon is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities. Register at the Berkshire South Front Desk, located at 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, or register or sponsor a swimmer online. For additional information, call 413-528-2810 ext. 29 or send an email.


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