NEW TOWN Mark Fox's last benefit swim had a few delays during the past couple weeks. But early Friday he hit the water and kept swimming until he completed his goal of about 12.2 miles.
This is the seventh annual year that Fox, of Parshall, has done a benefit swim in Lake Sakakawea, west of New Town.
But he decided this year's swim would be his last.
Originally scheduled for mid-August, he had to delay the swim a couple times after he suffered a serious injury.
On Friday at about 5:40 a.m., with good friend Alan Chase operating the boat, Fox took to the water in the area of the Four Bears Bridge.
With windy conditions and white caps on the water, Fox said he developed some hypothermia. But, he said, he was able to complete his swim in about 6 1/2 hours.
At the end of his swim, Fox and others celebrated with a barbecue attended by around 150 to 160 people.
The director of Red Sage, a nonprofit organization on the Fort Berthold Reservation, who also is tax director for the Three Affiliated Tribes, Fox has raised thousands of dollars through his annual benefit swims for youth activities on Fort Berthold.
He also has been doing the swims to raise awareness of the importance of water on the reservation.
What is he planning now that he won't be doing the benefit swims? "There's other adventures I can do," he said.
He said those plans will be to continue to help kids and community development.
- Eloise Ogden