“I did a few triathlons on Cape Cod when I was in my 20s,” he said. “But I hadn’t done anything like that in 30 years.”
With encouragement from his 26-year-old son, Bob trained for, and completed, a beginner-level triathlon at the age of 55. Suddenly, he found himself back in the game – so much so that he even attended a triathlon conference in Boston, where he crossed paths with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
His girlfriend Karen noticed the Buzzards Bay Swim booth right away. Karen’s father, Richard Jackson, lived in Marion and called Buzzards Bay home. He was a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, had served in the U.S. Navy, sailed on Buzzards Bay his whole life, and made it his goal to teach Karen (and her children) to value and appreciate all that the Bay had to offer.
Richard had very recently passed away, which lead Karen to make a heartfelt request of Bob. “She asked me if I would consider doing the Swim in memory of her father,” he recalls. “He lived for the ocean. I was honored to swim in his memory.”
Soon, Karen had signed up to volunteer at the Swim and arranged for the family to come out as a cheering squad. Bob set an impressive fundraising goal: $1,000.
Three months, 97 emails, and 26 generous donors later, Bob had exceed his goal by the day of the Swim, raising $1,080 for the Buzzards Bay Coalition and taking home a prize for Top First-Time Fundraiser. It was an overwhelming show of support for Karen’s dad and for Bob’s fitting tribute.
Both Bob and Karen described their event experience as “a blast” and vowed to return to the Swim every year. It’s a way for them to enjoy a day together on the shores of Buzzards Bay, while doing their part to protect their family’s legacy for future generations.
Bob Milne will be swimming again in honor of Richard Jackson at this year’s Buzzards Bay Swim. Sign up to join Bob and 300 other swimmers in June!
Thank you to our sponsors: Amica Insurance, Anderson Insulation, Citizens Commercial Banking, YMCA Southcoast, Fiber Optic Center, and Whaling City Sound. The Buzzards Bay Swim is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series event, presented nationally by Toyota. For more information on this national series, please visit waterkeeper.org.