On November 11th 2018 at 6 am, five Aruban swimmers of the Aruban Dolphins Swimming Club started swimming from Piedras Negras in Falcon State, Venezuela to Aruba (approx. 28.5km) to collect funds and generate awareness for “Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds”, a non-profit organization that offers support to cancer patients and works for the prevention of this unfortunate disease. The team of five swimmers, Deaxo Croes, Gwendolin (Wendy) Kock, Romar Arendsz, Davy Bisslik and Stephan Thijsen, followed in the footsteps of the founder and coach of Aruba Dolphins Swimming organization, Roly Bisslik, who was the first person to swim from Venezuela to Aruba in 1988, exactly 30 years ago.
This event, labeled the “Crossing for Hope” event, was met with a lot of support. A big team backed each swimmer with boats and media support while on shore many were present at the arrival point or following the event on TV, radio, Facebook both in Aruba as well as internationally.
The swimmers left Venezuela at a very high speed but as they approached Aruba the current was very strong which slowed their pace. Davy Bisslik arrived at Santo Largo but decided to swim to Zeerovers arriving after swimming 8:20 hours (36.06km). Stephan Thijsen arrived at Barcadera and swam 8:41 hours (37.7km). Followed by, Romar Arendsz who also arrived at Barcadera after swimming 8:47 hours (40.92km). The first lady to swim from Venezuela to Aruba, Wendy Kock, impressed all with her efforts and time of 10 hours (43km) arriving at Surfside Marina. Deaxo Croes arrived at Barcadera after swimming 10:20 hours (42.42km). Their coach Roly Bisslik was there all the way beaming with pride and the team is very grateful for his dedication, advice and inspiration.
The event was also very successful in its aim, raising over AFL. 40,000 in funds for the cancer foundation Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds (KWF), with funds still coming in at time of press. The swimmers as well as Crossing for Hope extend their gratitude for this great donation.
The committee of Crossing for Hope along with Aruba Dolphins swimming Club would like to express their gratitude to the People of Aruba for the massive welcome that our 5 swimmers received on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Thank you to all media that provided their time and dedication to promote the Crossing for Hope event, the photographers of Aruba Dolphins, Alvin Croes, Amanda Goedgedrag y Marvin v/d Linden, 297Sports that followed the swimmers from the start to the end as well as InGenuity Creative Marketing (Jeff Lopez and Robert Tromp) for their work and dedication to produce a documentary of the event which should come out soon.
A big thank you as well to Crossing for Hope Platinum Sponsors: Budget Marine, Elite Entertainment Group, Aruba Aloe, Digicel and InGenuity Creative Marketing; the Gold Sponsors: New India Assurance, CMB, Otis, Setar, Emco and Ministry of Tourism, Health & Sports; the Bronze Sponsors: ASTEC, Century Group and Andmar Manpower Services; as well as all other sponsors that contributed to the event.
Crossing for Hope thanks all the voluntary teams accompanying the swimmers to bring them back safely to Aruba. November 11, 2018, will forever be marked in the hearts of all those who lived this event.
Budget Marine sponsored the Team of Deaxo Croes, in image standing third from right, with his support team