Karen Gaffney Nominated for “Woman of the Year” Award

Karen GaffneyChampion open-water swimmer Karen Gaffney, who received the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award in 2010, has been nominated for the “Woman of the Year” award by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP! Voting for the award is open through Dec. 31, and you can click here to show her your support. The winner will be announced Jan. 1.

The World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year honors the woman who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.

In addition to her swimming accomplishments, which include crossing the English Channel as part of a relay team, and swimming the full length of Lake Tahoe, Karen is president of a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace and the community for people with developmental disabilities. Learn more about the Karen Gaffney Foundation at karengaffneyfoundation.com or on Facebook.

Here is what the World Open Water Swimming Association award nomination says about Karen:

Karen Gaffney is a champion in every sense of the word: a humble heroine, a remarkable role model, a spectacular speaker. The English Channel relay swimmer has dedicated herself and the tools at her disposal to champion a journey to full inclusion in families, schools, communities and the workplace for people with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. With dramatic open water swims to emphasize one’s potential, as well as her speeches, video tapes and resource materials, she constantly installs hope for others with Down syndrome. Her lifestyle proves a full productive and inclusive life is in store for parents and families of a child born with Down syndrome or other learning disabilities. For her swims across Lake Champlain, Lake Tahoe, in Hawaii and in San Francisco Bay, for her ability to heighten awareness and raise expectations of students, counselors, educators and those in the medical profession of the capabilities of children with Down syndrome to learn, grow and contribute in an inclusive setting, Karen Gaffney is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.”

Please go to the voting page to cast a ballot for Karen, and spread the word to friends and family to support her as well.

Congratulations, Karen, on your nomination!

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