OCEANSIDE — The annual Mother’s Day Fancy Dress Swim will be held on the north side of Oceanside Pier May 11.
During the event women, dressed in gowns wade into the ocean hand in hand to raise funds to fight malaria.
The idea behind the Mother’s Day fundraiser is to prevent mothers from suffering the loss of a child from malaria.
Marlaine Paulsen Cover initiated the local fundraiser six years ago. She said she was shocked by the staggering statistics of how many children die from malaria each day, especially when a $4 insecticide-treated bed net could help prevent deaths.
The number comparison used by Cover to describe the impact of the disease is seven jumbo jets of children die from malaria each day, which equals more than 3,000 children a day.
“We’re definitely making huge progress,” Cover said. “They are working to come up with a vaccine as well. The nets are a huge lifesaver.”
Cover said the grassroots fundraiser allows 100 percent of donations to be given to the Against Malaria Foundation, which encourages world swim events to fund purchasing and distributing bed nets.
Cover said she remembers the inaugural year of the Oceanside event, and pushing the button on her computer to post the fundraiser. She said her hope was that others would join her.
“Thank God people did swim with me,” Cover recalls.
Cover has experienced some personal and professional changes since the first fundraiser began.
She has moved to Oregon, and returns to Oceanside each year for the event.
This year her daughter and mother will join her in the Mother’s Day swim.
Cover also published a book, “Kissing the Mirror: Raising Humanity in the Twenty-first Century,” and began the Parenting 2.0 group a few years ago. She said the book was written as a manifesto to the parenting group on how to teach life skills to your child, and is based on truths she knows as mom.
The Parenting 2.0 group has grown to 4,500 members worldwide.
This September Cover will be giving Rob Mather, founding member of the Against Malaria Foundation, the Parenting 2.0 Global Presence Humanitarian Award.
The award will be given to Mather at the Parenting 2.0 Talks in Dublin, Ireland. Cover said honoring Mather with the award is personally significant to her.
The Against Malaria Foundation has raised more than $22.9 million and supplied more than 6.7 million bed nets since 2003.
The Mother’s Day Fancy Dress Swim at Oceanside Pier will be held at 9 a.m.