Proceeds from the next Swimarathon organised by Lytham St Annes Lions will again two main beneficiaries - and include the opportunity for entrants to help name a guide dog.
The annual event will be held for the 34th time on Sunday, January 26 and the cash raised will be divided between Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Guide Dogs for the Blind and Home-Start Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre,.
The backing of Guide Dogs for the Blind is aimed at sponsoring and naming a guide dog puppy, which when trained will be based locally and help a child or adult with sight difficulties.
The Lions also want help giving the puppy a name and when each team enters the Swimarathon they will be sent a special form offering the opportunity to submit a choice of name for the puppy on behalf of the team.
“We will have a committee who will choose what they consider to be the most appropriate name and register it with the local Association,” said a Lions spokesman.
Home-Start Blackpool Fylde and Wyre began in St Annes in 2008 and offers support to needy families across the area.
The Lions spokesman added: “They have been given a small grant for a Child Exploitation Onlne Protection Ambassador to help keep families safe both on and offline, but the grant will only last until March.
“A successful Swimarathon would help extend this valuable service.”
The Swimarathon has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over more than three decades.
It traditionally attracts hundreds of sponsored swimmers, many of them youngsters, to a day-long event at St Annes YMCA Pool and in recent years has funded defibrillators for local schools as well as health screening for teenagers.
In 2018, a record £15,000 was generated for the Edward Dee Forever Fund for Meningitis Now, while last year the £11,500 proceeds were split between Blackpool Victoria Hospital children’s unit and the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Deaf Society.
A donation was also made at the post-Swimarathon presentation to the Fylde mayoral charity fund, which will be the case again this time.
The Lions spokesman added: “We are grateful for the backing of main sponsor Beaverbrooks The Jeweller and are looking forward to another successful Swimarathon.”
Entry details are at www.lsaswimarathon.org