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Adventure Crew’s Great Ohio River Swim is canceled this year due to health concerns; coming back in ’21

Adventure Crew, the nonprofit that organizes the Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim, has announced the cancellation of the 2020 event because of COVID-19. The only open water swim to travel across the Ohio River and back was scheduled for Aug. 30.

“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.”

Funds raised through the Swim help the nonprofit get city teens out into nature. Adventure Crew takes students from 24 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky schools kayaking, biking, hiking and swimming, among other activities. The good news is that Caroline Keating, daughter of the event’s namesake, has pledged to help Adventure Crew recoup some of those critical funds by taking on a personal fundraising swim in August.

More details about her challenge will be released in the coming weeks, but here’s a hint: The more donations she gets, the further she’ll swim. Her goal is to raise at least $5,000 for Adventure Crew and swim 5K. Donations are now being accepted through her fundraising page.

The Swim is named for Keating’s father, Bill Keating, Jr., 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 canceled 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.

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