MassBar Bulletin Spotlight: Murphy swims across Narragansett Bay, tops 'Save the Bay' fundraising charts

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
Article Picture
Top (left to right): Ken Sisson, David White, Dan White-Lief, Denise Murphy, Billy Weinstein (Murphy's son) and Brian MacDonald.

Bottom: Murphy crosses the finish line.

Massachusetts Bar Association Vice President Denise Murphy recently completed her third Save the Bay swim across Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. The swim, which starts at the Newport Navy Base and ends at Potter Cove in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is the largest fundraiser to protect and restore the Narragansett Bay region. This year, Murphy was the top overall fundraiser for the event, raising more than $6,000 for the cause.

Overcoming recent injuries to her elbow and hip, Murphy completed the swim in under two hours, which is especially impressive considering the difficult conditions she and other swimmers faced this year. While the water across Narragansett Bay was clear and temperate, changing weather and tidal conditions in the middle of the race caused choppy conditions and pulled swimmers off course, adding the equivalent of an extra mile to the normally 1.7 nautical mile race. “Being pulled out that extra bit really had an impact,” she said.

Murphy credited her late mother, Millie, who was an environmentalist, for being her inspiration for the swim. “I wanted to figure out some way to honor her after she passed, and I thought this would be a good way to do it that would have a lasting impact,” she said. Now that it has become an annual event for Murphy, it has also turned into a family event. This year she was joined on the swim by her stepson, Dan White-Lief; her husband, former MBA President David White, participated as a safety kayaker for the team, along with friend and fellow kayaker Ken Sisson.

Murphy plans to do the swim next year, and she says she is grateful for all the support she received from “team MBA”; her law partners and colleagues at Rubin and Rudman LLP; her client Maloney Properties Inc.; and other family and friends.

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