VAL-DES-MONTS, QUE. -- For nearly three hours on one of the hottest days of the year, Rabbi Dara Lithwick swam across Quebec’s Lac St-Pierre.

"It was an amazing feeling, especially hearing those cheers at the end," said Lithwick, an avid swimmer. 

Located just 30 minutes outside of Ottawa, Lithwick took the plunge early Saturday morning at the southern point of the lake in Val-des-Monts, on a path toward the northern tip for a distance of about seven kilometres.

Each one, in support of Love My Neighbour - an initiative to raise funds and awareness over global vaccine inequities.

"We are really lucky we have vaccines and a high population getting vaccinated," said Lithwick. "The rest of the world isn’t there yet and the rest of the world needs our help."

By Saturday afternoon, Lithwick surpassed her fundraising goal of $2,400, with the federal government set to match every dollar raised.

"That takes a lot of effort and something I admire about Dara,” said friend Kristen Healy. "Everybody can make a difference even if it's a small difference; it makes a difference to someone else's life. And that's a great example to set."

For Lithwick the swim was a chance to make a difference while doing something she loves.

"We have an obligation to each other. The only way to get through these global challenges is to pull together in any way we can."

For more information about Love My Neighbour, and to donate, visit: