Swimming Manhattan for VFF


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The Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA (VFF USA) is thrilled to announce the save-the date for our annual gala, “Recipe for Empowerment” as October 6th, 2017.
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New York’s Manhattan Island is 32 miles in circumference. In a fundraising challenge organized by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, professional long-distance swimmer Christian Jongeneel swam two laps around Manhattan and  became the fourth athlete in the world to complete this incredible feat.
Jongeneel’s swim of 20 hours and 15 minutes shattered the previous record held of 20 hours and 56 minutes held by American swimmer Skip Storch.
Swimming without a neoprene wetsuit, Jongeneel said battling the cold water (around 64 degrees Fahrenheit) and strong currents was a grueling task.
"It never crossed my mind to quit,” he said. “I was confident that I would finish the journey. For this challenge, mental strength is more important than physical training.  Any possible doubt was tackled by focusing on how this challenge would improve the lives of others. That thinking helped me to move on and finish my goal.”
The challenge raised more than $7,800 through a crowdfunding initiative. The funds will support a nutritional and health-care program for women living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas of southern India.
India has the world’s third highest population of people infected with HIV — 750,000 of whom are women. VFF programs help more than 80% of HIV-positive people in the Anantapur district, accounting for more than 20,000 patients since 2010.