69 years ago, Roy Webster and a few of his friends hopped in a boat, paddled across the Columbia River in Oregon to the Washington shore, and jumped in the river to swim back to Oregon. He began a tradition that continues today.

Like the annual summer heat, the Roy Webster Columbia River Cross-Channel Swim attracts swimmers from around the globe who participate in this quirky event that epitomizes the spirit of Hood River, Oregon.

To celebrate that spirit, the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce has created a life-size cutout of Roy sporting his many swimming medals—and a video that honors the fun and excitement of the event. To help promote the event and to create awareness about this year’s swim, Roy’s likeness can be seen photographed in locations throughout Hood River County in the Chamber’s “Where’s Roy” campaign on the their Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim Facebook page.

The Roy Webster swim in definitely one of the most unique events offered in Hood River County,” said Kerry Cobb, Executive Director for the Chamber. “Roy is a local icon and someone who truly embodied the outdoor lifestyle of Hood River. He operated a successful orchard that continues to be family-run and is still thriving to this day—and he loved the outdoors and the involvement of the community. Our Where’s Roy campaign is a way to engage the community and those who participate in the swim, and to remember the spirit in which the event was intended.”

On the Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim Facebook page, Roy can be seen photographed with local residents and business owners as well as in well-known Hood River County locations. Visitors to the site are invited to comment on Roy’s location and keep apprised of Roy’s whereabouts from now until the swim on Labor Day, September 5th.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source