Wendy Killeen

English Channel swimmer takes laps for the Marblehead YMCA

Kim Garbarino of Winthrop will swim this weekend to benefit the regional YMCA.
Kim Garbarino of Winthrop will swim this weekend to benefit the regional YMCA.

A SWIMMING IDEA: Early in the morning on Aug. 12, 2012, Kim Garbarino entered the English Channel. Fifteen hours and 37 minutes later he arrived in Wissant, France, after swimming approximately 34 miles across the channel.

The then-55-year-old Lynn District Court probation officer had achieved a goal he held for 44 years.

Garbarino, of Winthrop, has been swimming most of his life and been a member of a YMCA since he was 7. So when it came time to train for his dream swim he went to the YMCA of the North Shore’s Lynch/van Otterloo branch in Marblehead, doing laps in the pool nonstop for five to six hours a day.


When Garbarino was recently asked whether he would help kick off the regional YMCA’s annual fund-raising campaign, he thought about raising awareness of the importance of swimming lessons for all kids.

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“As a swimmer, I believe that any child who lives in a community near the water should learn how to swim,” Garbarino said. “Every summer everybody hears about the young child, the young kid that drowns. Every time I hear something like that I think how preventable drowning is if a kid can just learn the basics of swimming.”

On Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., Garbarino will swim for 24 hours in the pool at the Lynch/van Otterloo Y to raise money for this year’s campaign, which directly supports the Y’s financial assistance program.

The assistance program ensures that everyone in the community can participate in Y programs, including swim lessons for kids and families, regardless of ability to pay.

Garbarino’s goal is to raise $10,000. To support “Kim’s Swim” and donate to the Y’s annual campaign, visit


DREAMING BIG: Victoria Glidden, 16, of Lynn, is one of 100 high school students from across the country chosen to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy taking place Thursday through Sunday.

The students were selected from more than 10,000 applicants. Glidden is the only participant from Massachusetts.

The academy, held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, gives students a chance to go behind the scenes at the park and participate in hands-on, immersion workshops related to a range of careers.

Also, professionals, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, and celebrities share their stories on how to “dream big” and achieve success.

Glidden listed her passions as “politics, volunteer work, the environment, and animals.”


“I dream of going into politics so I can help people in my spare time,” she said. “I want to work with the homeless and volunteer as a wildlife rehabilitation specialist.”

One of Glidden’s goals is to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


RAISING VOICES: The Pot O’Gold Dinner Show to benefit the Cheverus School in Malden is March 15 at the Irish American Club in Malden.

The show features Joey Noone, a singing impressionist and comedian known as Joey Voices.

Noone re-creates the voices of more than 40 performers, with music spanning from the 1940s through the 1990s. The artists include Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Wayne Newton, and even Cher.

The show begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, $50 after Friday. Call 617-818-1592 or visit

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Thomas Bourdon of Haverhill has been appointed to the new position of president of Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people). Most recently, Bourdon was director of the LGBT Center and cochairman of the Social Justice Leadership Initiative at Tufts University. He has a bachelor’s degree from Babson College, a master’s of education from UCLA, and a doctorate of education from Northeastern University. Each year, Greater Boston PFLAG delivers some 200 educational programs statewide, reaching 15,000 people in middle and high schools, religious organizations, colleges, corporations, and at conferences for health care, counseling, and bullying- and violence-prevention specialists.

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