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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Search of Memphre 2012 Press Release

September 4, 2012

Lake Memphremagog, Vermont and Quebec – This coming Friday night at midnight, seven accomplished marathon open water swimmers will begin an epic 25 mile international swim the length of Lake Memphremagog, between Magog Quebec and Newport, Vermont, In Search of Memphre.  The swim is held on the weekend marking the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  The three main purposes of the swim are:

  • to promote a more open border with our Canadian friends and family members even as we support efforts to address terrorist activities,
  • to raise money for our financially challenged community sports, fitness, and recreation center – Indoor Recreation Orleans County (IROC), and its groundbreaking health and exercise programs for people suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, as well as cancer patients and survivors, and, of course, 
  • to search for the elusive, legendary lake creature, Memphre,
So far, our “Swimmer Scouts” have raised over $12,000 in support of IROC with more on-line donations being received at  

The swim is more of a friendly, supportive, team expedition, rather than a race.  The seven Swimmer Scouts taking part in this year’s expedition are:   Liz Fry, 53, of Westport, CT, David Dammerman, 43, Saratoga Springs, NY, Bill Shipp, 52, Mitchellville, MD, David Barra, 47,High Falls, NY, Aurora Gore, 29, Libertyville, IL, Lori Carena, 58, Brooklyn, NY, and Jennifer Dutton, 43, Wayland, MA. 

Each swimmer will be supported by a crew of two who will be operating 16 foot aluminum guideboats with protected propellers, provided by La Traversee in Magog, QC.  A fleet of six larger patrol boats will be led by Chris and Gail Steele of Killingworth, CT and Derby, VT. 

Liz Fry, who was the first to finish last year’s swim in the face of vicious head winds and who holds the record for the oldest person to complete a double crossing of the English Channel, described last year’s swim as, “The most beautiful and joyful swim of my life.”
The Search is being conducted with the full support of Barbara Malloy, Vermont’s First Lady Dracontologist.

The event is hosted by IROC and the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.  The Organizing Committee consists of  Phil White, of Derby, VT, Ned Denison, of Cork Ireland, Elaine Kornbau Howley, of Waltham, MA, Leslie Thomas of Swim_Art in San Francisco, CA, Liz Fry of Westport, CT, Greg O’Connor, of Nattick, MA, Peter Stuart, of Derby, VT, and Charlotte Brynn of Stowe, VT, and.  In Search of Memphre is sanctioned by US Masters Swimming, which has selected next year’s Kingdom Swim to hold its 9+ Mile National Championship on July 6, 2013. It is part of IROC’s Kingdom Summer Games – a fast growing series of running, biking, swimming, triathlon, kayaking, and motorcycling events that are now drawing participants from 36 different states, five Canadian provinces, Mexico, Great Britain, and Mumbai, India. 

The Kingdom Summer Games series is made possible by major sponsorships of  Jay Peak Resort, Community National Bank, North Country Hospital, Vermont Highland Cattle Company, MVP, Swim_Art, The EastSide Restaurant, Louis Garneau, Paul Decelles Investment Planning, Hayes Ford, Northeast Delta Dental, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Kinney Drugs Foundation, Community Financial Services Group, SwimVacation, Wilkens Harley-Davidson, Jay Peak Area Chamber of Commerce, Lago Trattoria, XTERRA Wetsuits, United Motorcyclists of Vermont, Vermont Pie & Pasta Company, Cedarwood Resort, Clyde River Recreation, Newport Marine Services, and Montgomery’s Café.  

“As IROC battles for financial survival, the support of these Swimmer Scouts and the donations they have raised is just HUGE,” said, Phil White, Executive Director of IROC and one of the founding members of NEKOWSA.  “Every dollar raised makes a big difference. Every dollar raised is an inspiration to others. And, special thanks to Serge Laurendeau and the folks at La Traversee.”

For more information about the swim and the swimmers: or contact Phil White at (Hyperlinks to Open Water Pedia biographies of particular swimmers and members of the organizing committee are provided above. For pictures of last year’s swim:

For more information about Memphre sightings:  For more information about the History and Mystery of Lake Memphremagog


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