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By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer
NEWPORT – On the day before the 37th annual Save The Bay Swim, Embrace Home Loans’ employee Kelly Kittel initiated a “jeans day” to benefit the organization.
Embrace often has a jeans day to raise money for colleagues, worthy causes and friends in need. This is a day when employees donate $3 or more for a good cause and the privilege of dressing down.
Kittel is adamant that Save the Bay’s ongoing efforts to restore and preserve Narragansett Bay are as critical now as they were in the early 1970s. While she agrees that progress has been made, she says, “There is still much work to be done.”
This year in particular presented challenges for Save The Bay’s efforts as a whole. First, Hurricane Sandy severely damaged their Education Center & Aquarium in Newport. Then, due to sequestration, the Navy base withdrew their permission to start the swim at the War College, forcing STB to change to a triangular course beginning and ending in Jamestown. July 20 marked the 37th year of STB’s largest and most-loved fundraiser, yet many swimmers opted out because of the new course. And finally, a succession of beach closures made it difficult to find clean water in which to train.”
Not only were Kittel and Embrace still able to raise nearly $1,300 for the long-standing campaign; two generations of Kittels represented Embrace in the annual swim.
Kelly, who swam for her 13th time, was joined by her 23 year-old daughter Hannah, who swam for her 6th time, and her 20 year-old son Micah, participating for his second time. Swimming with her children means a lot to Kittel, who is committed to teaching all of her five children to make the world a better place.