Determined Kiwanis Swim Team Readies for CHR Mardi Gras Relay Race

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From Kiwanis of Sanibel-Captiva:

The annual CHR (Community Housing Resources) Mardi Gras is always a fun filled time, but this year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, February 6 at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, is shaping up to be even more special than usual.

In addition to feasting on a New Orleans-style dinner, Mardi Gras partiers will be able to stroll through a recreation of Bourbon Street as they are entertained by the distinctive Louisiana-style music Mardi Gras is famous for. But the biggest drama of the evening may be at the pool, where teams from three of the major Mardi Gras event sponsoring organizations will compete in a sure-to-be-thrilling swimming relay race.

Co-chairs Melissa Rice (left) and Arlene Dillon (center) were on hand to receive the Kiwanis check for sponsoring the 2016 CHR Mardi Gras. Kiwanis members pictured, from the left, are: Coach Les Boyle, who is modeling the Kiwanis Team Purple robe, and swimmers Aaron Pruss, Eric Pfeifer, Chauncey Goss, and Paul Gulbrandsen.

Co-chairs Melissa Rice (left) and Arlene Dillon (center) were on hand to receive the Kiwanis check for sponsoring the 2016 CHR Mardi Gras. Kiwanis members pictured, from the left, are: Coach Les Boyle, who is modeling the Kiwanis Team Purple robe, and swimmers Aaron Pruss, Eric Pfeifer, Chauncey Goss, and Paul Gulbrandsen.

The local Kiwanis Club has signed up to be a sponsor and will compete in the swimming relay as “Team Purple.” The Kiwanis team of intrepid swimmers has high hopes to demolish the competition, which will include teams from Sanibel Captiva Community Bank (“Team Gold”) and the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company (“Team Green”). Swimming for the Kiwanis team are Aaron Pruss, Chauncey Goss, Eric Pfeifer, and Paul Gulbrandsen. Coaching the team is Les Boyle, who plans to put the Kiwanis lads through a rigorous preparation to get ready for the competition. Training will be done at the Lazy Flamingo.

The Kiwanis team will arrive at the pool for the relay wearing distinctive purple trimmed robes. There are no rules about swimming attire, creating some risk of fainting in the audience if someone shows up in a Speedo. In the relay, each swimmer will traverse one length of the pool by any means necessary, which means if they can use water wings or pool noodles for assistance, or walk if they can touch bottom or walk on water. Swimmers are also allowed to disrupt the progress of the other teams, which may lead to some surprising developments.

It would not be Mardi Gras without lots of beads, and spectators will be able to buy strings of beads in the color of their favorite team to cheer them on. With each string of beads purchased comes a raffle ticket to place into that team’s raffle box, so the more beads collected the better one’s chance of winning. The team that comes in first in the relay swim gets the honor of making the first draws of raffle tickets from its box, meaning their supporters will have the best shot at winning the choice raffle prizes of the evening.

In addition to its sponsorship of the Mardi Gras event, Kiwanis has provided past grants to CHR to support its work to provide affordable housing, which benefits over 50 children on the island. The club also helped CHR construct a new kids’ playground at its Airport Way neighborhood earlier this year.