Patrick Verbeeck swam across Williams Lake Saturday

Patrick Verbeeck swam across Williams Lake Saturday

Verbeeck raises $1,200 in swim across lake

Williams Lake's Patrick Verbeeck swam across Williams Lake in support of raising funds for cancer research.

It was tougher than he anticipated, but Williams Lake’s Patrick Verbeeck didn’t let that slow him down in his quest to swim across Williams Lake over the B.C. Day long weekend.

Verbeeck, who graduated from Columneetza secondary this past June and was a longtime member of the Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club, swam seven kilometres beginning at Russet Bluff and ending at Scout Island in Williams Lake to raise funds for cancer research.

“It was pretty tiring, that’s for sure,” Verbeeck said.

“When I got out of the water I was really tired. It was more difficult than I thought.”

Prior to the swim, which he labelled Strokes for Life, Verbeeck collected pledges and donations, raising about $1,200 — more than his original goal of $1,000.

He said he originally came up with the idea after some of his friends had been affected by cancer.

He donated the money to the Canadian Cancer Society.

“It was pretty great,” he said of the support he received.

“When I was done a few people came over to congratulate me.”

Following alongside Verbeeck was a kayaker and a canoeist, ensuring his swim was as safe as possible.

He added he might make the event an annual occurrence, but hasn’t thought too far into it.

“It’s possible,” he said of the idea. “[If I did it again] anyone could join in.”