It’s hard to know which force has had the greater impact on the other. Has Provincetown changed Jay Critchley, a gay man raised among nine siblings in a Catholic family, or has Critchley changed Provincetown even more?
Critchley may be feeling slightly depressed this year. After 32 years running the Provincetown Swim for Life, this was the first year no one dipped a toe into Provincetown Harbor to raise money for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Outer Cape Health Services and other nonprofits. And still, the charitable event Critchley founded in 1988 raised about $150,000 for nonprofits this year. It’s collected $6.5 million overall.
The Cape Cod National Seashore denied him a permit to use Long Point as the jump-off for the 1.4-mile swim across the harbor due to the fear of sharks. Then, Hurricane Dorian hit. So Critchley called off the harbor swim. Even still, swimmers had already raised the pledge money, and so the nonprofits that depend on the Swim’s funds will still get donations.
As a tribute to Critchley, we hope people donate more to make up for the $50,000 shortfall of this year’s semi-swim.