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Oriole Bird Mascot to "Raft" Across Pool to Start Charlestown's August 14 "Swim for Service"

August 13, 2013

A Wednesday, August 14 (1 - 2 p.m.),  intergenerational "Swim for Service" lap-a-thon at Charlestown retirement community to honor military veterans and raise money for Catonsville VFW Post 219. Nearly 50 swimmers of all ages will swim and/or walk laps for which they obtained sponsors during the past month. Swimmers registered via the website .
The Oriole mascot bird will "raft" his way across the pool in a ceremonial first lap to kick-off the event. Loyola University Maryland ROTC will swim with Charlestown residents and grandchildren. Members of VFW Post 219 will officiate.
"People can swim one lap or 100 laps --  it's completely up to them," said Michael Bodley, a Catonsville resident and student at Elon University who is coordinating the event as part of his summer internship with Erickson Living's Corporate Affairs Department. 
Embroidme of Catonsville, a professional custom clothing design company, is donating T-shirts for the event. River and Trail Outfitters of Knoxville, MD, is providing the raft for the Oriole Bird's use.
All participants will be given T-shirts, and the person swimming the most laps in each age group will be recognized. The winning team will also be recognized. Pool lanes will be divided according to speed, said Bodley, who is a lifeguard at a Catonsville pool.