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Great Ohio River Swim Canceled Due to COVID Concerns

The Great Ohio River Swim will not happen this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

The August 30 event, put on by Adventure Crew, a nonprofit that works to bring teens into nature, was started in 2007.

“Health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have halted permits from our critical venue and safety partners, making it impossible for us to confidently open registration,” said Miriam Wise, Adventure Crew’s associate director. “We’re disappointed that we will be unable to hold the event, especially after river conditions were uncooperative the past two years.”

Instead, Caroline Keating, daughter of Bill Keating, Jr., for whom the event is named, is hoping to raise $5,000 independently and donations are now being accepted through her fundraising page.

Bill Keating, Jr. was one of the first swimmers to sign up for the inaugural event in 2007. That year, he won the men’s swim but lost the overall title to Caroline. He continued to be a huge supporter of the event until he lost his battle with brain cancer in 2017.

“The Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim has always been an event I looked forward to all summer,” said Caroline Keating. “It a way to remember my dad’s legacy while, more importantly, giving back to the youth of Cincinnati. Getting outdoors and supporting our youth is more important than ever in 2020, and while I am disappointed the virus has cancelled another favorite summer activity, I am confident the supporters of the Swim and Adventure Crew will help us find creative ways to get outside and give back this summer.”

“We’re so grateful that Caroline will carry on the Swim’s spirit with her fundraising event later this summer,” Wise added. “During this challenging time, the funds she raises will provide much-needed support for our programs.”

Adventure Crew plans to offer the Swim in 2021, with a date to be announced. Past registrations that would have been honored for 2020 will be carried over to next year.

-Staff report

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