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Swimming for a cause: Century 21 United Realty helps raise $40,000 for charity

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The Peterborough YMCA pool saw the return of a beloved tradition, with the Carl Oake Rotary Swim taking over for another year. Hosted in Peterborough, Ont. by Century 21 United Realty’s broker Vanessa Oake-Hogan, the event has been a long-standing tradition for the brokerage and her family.

“Honoring my father’s tradition is really important to me personally,” Oake-Hogan says. “The agents themselves that are a part of our brokerage really do appreciate that they’re part of an organization that does support our local community.”

While the event is back at full strength, she is well aware of the lingering effects of the past few years and stresses the importance of continuing with traditions, especially ones that help so many. “We embraced the fact that we could go full-swing this year and be back to normal. It’s ingrained in our culture as a company to be a part of the community, and our communities are definitely in need right now. A lot of cities across Canada are managing rising numbers of addictions and mental health issues, and here in Peterborough, we’re tight-knit. We support the people around us.”

That support manifested in teams of participants coming out to take a dive for the hour-long swim — some of them even had extra flair. “We know that not everyone might want to come out in a bathing suit, so we encourage people to have some fun. Some people jump in wearing their office clothes, some people like to dress up, and my favourite costume from this year was a fluffy unicorn — it added twenty pounds, so I’m not sure how he finished the lap, but he did!”

Overall, the event raised just over $40,000, with proceeds going towards Easter Seals Canada, and local Rotary Club projects, including youth emergency services, a school breakfast program, and a new nursing station at Camp Kawartha.

Oake-Hogan is already looking forward to 2024 and how the event will evolve. “We want to see more teams; we’re going to encourage more groups to come out and bring back everyone who came this year. And more costumes! We just want everyone to feel comfortable being a part of this, and we’re going to try to build on everything we’ve accomplished this year.”

The Carl Oake Rotary Swim was started by Carl Oake in 1987 and has raised over $1.2 million over its history.


The Carl Oake Rotary Swim, image courtesy Century 21

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