Two men to swim across Sound to support PAWS

On Sunday, May 17, two local men will swim their last 3.5 miles across Puget Sound for the final year to help raise awareness and funds for the animals at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, also known as PAWS.

Bob Donovan and Paul Zimmerman will start their journey at Vashon Island and land at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

Donovan and Zimmerman have swum a combined total of more than 63 miles since 2000, and feel it’s time to hang up their flippers. Before doing so, they hope to raise another $10,000 for the animals at PAWS. 

“Both Paul and I want to thank all the hard working people at PAWS who have helped us make this a fun, safe and successful event every year,” said Donovan. “We plan to put our energy to use in other PAWS events as we are sad to see 2009 as the last event. But 10 years and that many miles of swimming—it’s time to get out of the water.” 

Since they began this event, Donovan and Zimmerman have raised more than $23,000 for the animals at PAWS. Donovan is a resident of Bothell and manages his family business Kenmore Camera. Zimmerman, a Microsoft employee, lives in Redmond.

Supporters and the public are invited to bring their dogs and binoculars to the shore at Lincoln Park and celebrate the swimmers’ 10 years of accomplishments and their arrival at the beach at approximately noon, May 17.

The pair will be escorted across the Sound by a few boats and kayaks of friends, who encourage them and ensure their safety throughout their aquatic adventure.

Donovan and Zimmerman are asking the public to help them meet their goal of raising $10,000.

Donations can be mailed to the attention of Paddle for PAWS, PO Box 1037, Lynnwood, WA 98046, made securely online at or by calling 425.787.2500 x255. 

PAWS shelters homeless dogs and cats, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.

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