28th Annual Swimathon Supports Ukrainian Refugee Families
Hotchkiss Swimathon 2022 group shot

By Darryl Gangloff

The sun was shining for the 28th annual Hotchkiss Swimathon on Sept. 17 as approximately 30 participants dove into Lakeville’s beautiful Lake Wononscopomuc. The group completed a two-mile swim across the lake to raise more than $27,500 for Special Olympics Connecticut and Special Olympics Slovakia, two organizations that are working to help Ukrainian refugee families.

“Our longstanding Hotchkiss tradition has an even more urgent and global perspective this year,” says Swimathon founder Keith Moon P’13,’16,’20, who is the E. Carleton Granbery Teaching Chair and an instructor in English, history and Russian language.

Moon traveled to Slovakia in August to support a new day care center that will aid Ukrainian refugee families who have children born with intellectual disabilities. His trip was inspired by his “two important passions”—helping the people of Ukraine and raising funds for Special Olympics Connecticut. Hotchkiss supports the organization through the annual Swimathon, and Moon has served on its board of directors for nearly a decade.

He went to Slovakia in August as a personal emissary for Special Olympics Connecticut to present a $25,000 gift to Special Olympics Slovakia for the groundbreaking of the child care facility, which Moon says was “one of the great days and honors of my lifetime.”

“The Dream Day Center is a symbol of hope for these refugee families,” Moon says. “The families being served often have overwhelming child care needs. The adults have struggled to find time to work, so the mission is to offer high-quality care for their children while they try to set their lives in some sort of order. Many of the refugees in places like Slovakia have few other resources to help them through a crisis not at all of their making.”

Moon said the Dream Day Center will serve seven Ukrainian refugee families to start, and the goal is to expand that number. Donations are welcome on the Special Olympics Connecticut website.

Hotchkiss Swimathon swimmers
Photos of swimmers and celebration


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