Teen who swam Lake Ontario has name added to plaque at Niagara-on-the-Lake park
Ever since her legendary lake crossing, Annaleise Carr has been waiting to have her name on the plaque at Queen’s Royal Park.
Saturday, as family and friends gathered, the updated plaque was unveiled at the Niagara-on-the-Lake park.
“I’m excited,” said Carr, the 14-year-old who swam across Lake Ontario and raised thousands of dollars for charity. “That’s what I told my dad I really wanted.”
The plaque, mounted on a rock, lists the names of everyone who has made the gruelling lake crossing.
Carr walked in the water at the park on Aug. 18 around 6 p.m. to begin her swim.
She wouldn’t touch land again for 27 hours.
The teen was dubbed the new “Lady of the Lake” by Marilyn Bell, who made the first crossing in 1954 at 16 years old.
Carr has been travelling to schools in Ontario sharing the story of her swim, and according to Solo Swims Ontario, the body that oversees lake crossings, her tale has inspired others.
“We’re getting numerous emails from 12-year-old girls who want to beat her record,” said Greg Taylor, president of Solo Swims Ontario.
Carr’s crossing started with ideal conditions, but night brought high winds and waves that slowed her progress dramatically.
“For what she had to deal with, to stay determined and fight the course, I thought she did very well,” said Taylor.
To date the teen has raised more than $230,000 for Camp Trillium, with more donations flowing in every day. The camp, near Waterford, Ont., hosts children suffering from cancer, providing a reprieve from hospitals and doctors offices.
“The awareness that’s built from her swim alone — there are no words for it,” said Carrie Arnold, manager of special events at Camp Trillium.
Carr has continued fundraising efforts for Camp Trillium and participated in other charity events. She recently completed a half-marathon and cycled 100 km for a Canadian Tire Jumpstart fundraiser.
This month Carr met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“She hasn’t slowed down,” said Debbie Carr, Annaleise’s mother. “The stuff she’s done since is amazing.”
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