On 19 Aug 2012, Annaleise Rebekah Carr became the youngest swimmer (14y 158d) to conquer the NOTL-MBP, 50.5 km, course on Lake Ontario with her time of 26:40:54. Her title of "Youngest" for this course was taken less than two years later on 4 Aug 2014 by Trinity Arsenault at age 14y 71d.
Annaleise's goal for the swim was to raise money and awareness for Camp Trillium.
In 2011, she was a member of the North Shore Athletics group that completed a 10 km open water swim from Pottahawk Point (located off Long Point on Lake Erie) to Turkey Point, followed by a 10 km run from Turkey Point to the Long Point Eco-Adventure Park. They raised around $15,000 for Camp Trillium. The visit to the Rainbow Lake facility was forever etched in her memory. The camp exists for children with cancer and their families--a sort of haven away from what they are going through--and she doesn't like to see kids hurt. The people who visit, work, and run this place are incredible!
Annaleise has swum competitively since she was 4 years old. She swam at long- and short-course as well as open-water Ontario Provincials. She competed at provincial lifeguard games and in triathlons. She swims with the Norfolk Hammerhead Aquatic Club in Simcoe, and North Shore Athletics in Port Dover, Ontario. Distance swimming was always her passion in swimming.
Annaleise crossed Lake Ontario following the traditional Marilyn Bell route from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto (considered one of the most difficult open water swims in the world). It was reported that "She has been blessed to be able to swim a long way and she wanted to use that gift to help the kids and their families at Camp Trillium". Her achievement certainly brought more awareness to the plight of Camp Trillium. Not very tall in stature (4'10"), but huge in heart!
When she touched the wall at Marilyn Bell Park, at 9:00 pm on Sunday, August 19, 2012, she became the youngest person to swim across that course, as well as the youngest Canadian to join the "24 Hour Club". This international group includes all swimmers who have completed marathon swims of 24 hours or longer.
As for fundraising, her original goal was to raise $30,000 and by April 2013 she had raised well over $250,000! She continues to raise funds for children's charities as she makes presentations about her swim and competes in other endurance sports.
Accolades for Annaleise include:
* World Open-Water Swimming Association 2012 Woman of the Year
* Finalist for Global Marathon Swimming Awards Solo Swim of the Year (Female)
* 2012 TVO Kids "Super Citizen" Award
* Ontario Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Pin
* Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship
* 2012 Canadian Sport Awards Spirit of Sport Story of the Year
* Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presented by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
* Simcoe & District Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award
* Commemorative Signs at the entrance to the Village of Walsh, Ontario, CANADA
* Renaming of the pool at the Simcoe Recreation Centre to the "Annaleise Carr Aquatic Centre"
* Renaming of the main hall at Camp Trillium Rainbow Lake, Ontario, to the "Annaleise Carr Activity Centre"
* #10 on CTV Kitchener Top 10 Stories of 2012
* In the 20 of 2012 on CHCH TV
* 2012 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year
* 2012 Inductee into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition
* Honorary Commissioner for Maple Leaf Sport & Entertainment inaugural Team-Up Challenge through their Team-Up Foundation
* Lions International Melvin Jones Fellowship
Compiled with materials provided by Jeff Carr