Wisconsin was the place to be Saturday morning, as it hosted one of the biggest fundraiser events for the Bayfield community.
Swimmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, across the United States, and internationally spent their Saturday morning in Bayfield participating in the 16th annual Point to La Pointe 2.1 mile open water swim event.
The event has three divisions in which people can sign up: women’s competitive, men’s competitive, and community/recreational swimmers.
The annual community event was started in 2006 by 24 people, and this year it sold out with a record 650 swimmers participating.
Fritz Grutzner, a member of the first community group, shares what he remembers from that day, “My sister and I were in the first swimmer group across the lake when we did it in 2006, and it was a while ago.”
The course starts in Bayfield, and swimmers will swim roughly 2 miles or longer until they reach the finish line on Madeline Island.
Grutzner told WDIO that the idea for Point to La Pointe was created to help the Bayfield community. “The rec center needed a fundraiser, so they needed money. They needed to raise money for the rec center. And so this was a good way to raise some money for that.”
“This is a huge thing for us! I mean, we are really lucky for such a small community to have a rec center like we do. We have a 25-meter sailing pool. We really have the only indoor pool open to the public. Otherwise, you would have to travel to like; Duluth or Rhinelander to have that available to you, said Jacob Kizer, the Executive Director for the Bayfield Rec Center.
Kizer also states, “this brings in, you know, that additional revenue that we need to be able to continue operating and serving our community.”
The funds from this fundraiser, according to Kizser, will be able to help allow the rec center to offer activities to the people in the community and beyond.
“We expect to bring in about $100,000 from this event, which, you know, this is big, is big for our community and allows us to continue. It is like you got to offer the many things that we provide swim lessons, sports camps, programs, and a lot of senior programs. And so, it goes a long way to supporting all of the things that we do. It is really important in a waterfront community to have these water activities, and this is a cool event for us.”