Midcoast woman to swim in 31 Maine lakes in 31 days to help LifeFlight of Maine
Simonds is swimming in 31 lakes in 31 days for this year’s Cross for LifeFlight fundraising event
DEDHAM, Maine (WABI) - Ali Simonds of Belfast is known as ‘Maine Lakes Mermaid.’
She is on a mission to swim in 31 different Maine lakes in 31 days.
“It’s just my safe space where I feel most like myself,” Simonds told us.
These days she has a lot on her plate.
Between work and graduate school, the 38-year-old does not have a lot of down time.
But when she gets does this month, she will be spending it in Maine’s waters.
“To see Maine through her waters is just an amazing and super cool thing. There are lakes you don’t even know exist,” she said.
“We hear a lot of impressive crossings over the years,” said Ashley MacMillan, Director of Annual Giving for the LifeFlight Foundation. “Last year someone hiked every peak in Acadia and this year Ali is swimming 31 lakes in 31 days. We met with her a few weeks ago and are encouraging everyone to get out and swim with her.”
“In 2018 I had swam in 20 different bodies of water without even trying and I was commenting on how awesome it is that we live in a place where that’s possible,” said Simonds. “My dad jokingly said that I should swim every lake and pond in Maine.”
Ali’s dad, Phil, sadly passed away in 2019 after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
“It’s definitely something right up his alley, something he would feel really strongly about,” she said.
After graduate school, Ali hopes to work with adults with traumatic brain injuries.
She, like many others in Maine, has been touched by the work of LifeFlight of Maine - our state’s only emergency air ambulance service.
Last year, LifeFlight cared for more than 2,300 patients.
“We’re there in their worst times,” said Bill Cyr, Chief Operating Officer for LifeFlight of Maine. “There are many rural areas that people do their outdoor activities and without LifeFlight, if they were to get into a situation where they needed medical help, it would be hours and hours away.”
As a nonprofit, LifeFlight depends on people like Ali who help fundraise, as well as businesses, foundations, and municipalities.
The Cross for LifeFlight aims to raise $400,000.
“If you know about LifeFlight you want to support it because you never know when you’re going to need it. In Maine, it’s our lifeline,” said Simonds.
Even after the month is out Ali promises her work with LifeFlight of Maine will continue.
She wants to highlight water safety, informing swimmers on how to be seen better and how boaters can see swimmers better.
“Just so everyone can be out and enjoying Maine’s natural beauty, but then make it home at night is really important,” she said.
Click here to find Ali’s fundraising page.
Cross for LifeFlight is statewide and inclusive; open to everyone and every activity— hiking, cycling, swimming, paddling, running, and more!
Click here to register.
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