BURK’S FALLS – Distance swimmer Joy Jarvis is at it again, only this time she is bringing her swim close to home and close to her heart.
Distance swimmer Joy Jarvis is crossing Lake Vernon in Huntsville nest weekend to raise money for hospice
The Armour Township resident will hit the waters of Lake Vernon to help Hospice Huntsville meet a $10,000 goal on July 8.
This swim is, as Jarvis puts it, “only 12 kilometers.” However, for Jarvis perhaps “only” is appropriate since it is about half the distance of her previous swims on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka where she swam to raise funds for Camp Oochigeas.
She says she knew before last year’s swim of Rosseau that she would like to bring her fundraising to the hospice.
“I had helped Oochigeas out for 11 years. When I first helped them out they were needing help and support,” she said.
Over they years Oochigeas managed to land large sponsors and didn’t need her assistance as much.
“It’s kind of close to the heart,” said Jarvis of her decision to swim on behalf of the hospice. “Gloria Johnston, a really good friend of ours, passed away two years January battling her second bout of cancer.”
Johnston, who lived in Burk’s Falls, told Jarvis that she would rather be somewhere else than taking up a hospital bed that someone else could use.
“She kind of got the ball rolling on Hospice Huntsville,” she said. “When she was in the hospital they had blueprints out. We’re swimming for hospice, thinking of Gloria.”
Jarvis works at the professional building down the street from the hospice and she has watched it grow and develop.
“It opened it January,” she said. “It helps out people in their final journey of life. It’s helped out the people and their families quite a bit.”
Jarvis has been training in a pool since the fall and it wasn’t until recently that she resumed lake training and says she will train every other day in the lake.
“I hear Lake Vernon is nice and warm,” she said.
Jarvis says she will likely make this an annual event for a while, however, says she would like to swim some of the other area lakes in future years.
“This is the first swim for hospice, but not the last,” she said.
She will start at the Town Docks in Huntsville at 7:30 a.m., swim out and around Centreview Island and back, a swim which she anticipates will wrap up around 11:30 a.m.
“The response has been overwhelming,” she said.
Her husband Bill will man one of the boats that will run alongside Jarvis as she makes her journey.
“We have some of my old crew from my other swims. They’re coming on board,” she said.
Both Jarvis and her crew have had some close calls during her Rosseau swims, with motorboats not paying attention, so she is hoping that the boaters on Vernon will be conscientious of the fact that she is there. She says if boaters so want to cheer her on that’s fine, but they need to be aware that she is there and not cause a wake.
However, toward the end Jarvis will not be alone.
“We’ve kind of put word out at Tri-Muskoka, a lot of groups from that and some other people are going to be joining me,” she said.
For the return route Jarvis estimates that about 50 people will join her in the water for the last leg of her swim, although she is hoping that will she be touching the finish first.
Those wishing to support the swim or the hospice can visit hospicehuntsville.com or cheer Jarvis on the day of the race. Volunteers from Hospice Huntsville will be on hand to take donations.