CHATHAM — As they do each April 1, a stalwart group of Chatham firefighters will lead a frigid swim in Nantucket Sound to raise money for a worthy cause. This year’s beneficiary is the family of Michele St. Aubin of Brewster, who is battling advanced pancreatic cancer.
Hundreds are expected to attend the swim, which happens at Harding’s Beach at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 1. Donations of any amount will be accepted, and there will be a free barbecue after the swim at the Chatham VFW, organizer Justin Tavano said. In its 10 years as a publicly advertised swim, the April Fools’ plunge has raised nearly $125,000 for local families.
Michele St. Aubin’s husband, Judd, is a commercial fisherman, and their two sons are students at Monomoy High School and Cape Tech.
“The boys actually came and swam themselves in past years,” Tavano said. They came out to support other families in need, “and now people are going to be there for them,” he said. Tavano is even hoping to inspire teams of swimmers to come from both high schools, mirroring a strong turnout from Nauset students several years ago to support one of their own.
This year’s event is being supported by the Women of Fishing Families, which is holding live and silent auctions as part of the after-party. T-shirts are also being printed, and will be available starting next week.