bbb-accredited-charityCharlotte, NC – November 10, 2016 – By meeting key standards of board oversight, finances, results reporting and fundraising appeals, Swim Across America achieved accreditation by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. This accreditation signifies that Swim Across America is deserving of donor trust as they are a well-run nonprofit organization.

“Our relationship with our donors is rooted in trust,” commented Rob Butcher, CEO of Swim Across America. “We initiated the process with BBB Wise Giving Alliance and are pleased to share that we meet the standard of non-profit excellence. We are proud to earn the ability to display the BBB accreditation seal.”

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is the nation’s only comprehensive charity evaluator, assisting donors in making sound giving decisions. Donors know they can trust a charity if it is accredited by the BBB WGA. Their broad standards go beyond what the law requires and dives deeper than other charity monitoring organizations. Each BBB WGA charity report process involves a rigorous review using 20 holistic BBB Charity Standards, interaction with charity officials about corrective actions needed to address deficiencies, and quality control measures to assure report accuracy. Thousands of charities have reports available to the public at Give.org.

“The public can be assured that every charity evaluation is completed with careful, objective analysis of charity information,” says Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, “By achieving accreditation, Swim Across America has earned public trust having demonstrated its commitment to sound governance, transparency and achieving its mission.”

Swim Across America’s report can be viewed on the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website.

Show Off Your SAA Pride on LinkedIn

We appreciate your time, fundraising and participation as part of the Swim Across America family. As our organization grows, we will reach out from time to time to ask you to help us tell our story as a leader in cancer research funding.

If you have participated, volunteered or donated to Swim Across America, and you have a profile on LinkedIn, list Swim Across America under your volunteer activities. When you identify Swim Across America, our logo will come up next to your activity. We suggest you select the “health” option from the cause drop down. In the text box, identify what role you played and which swim(s). For example, if you participated, volunteered or donated to Tampa, identify as SAA – Tampa. You can list several swims if you have provided support over the years. LinkedIn is an ideal community for you to showcase causes that you support and we would be honored to have you recognize Swim Across America in your profile.

Step 1: Select “VIEW MORE”




Step 3: Enter “Swim Across America, Inc” and fill in the details of your experience!


Saving Lives at the Johns Hopkins Swim Across America Lab

Stefanie Joho joined SAA – Baltimore this year to share her uplifting story. Four years ago at 22-years old she was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. Stefanie went through repeated chemo with no positive response, and the cancer spread to stage 4. Her doctors gave her weeks to live. Desperate and not willing to give up, her sister googles and finds Dr. Luis Diaz at our beneficiary Johns Hopkins Medicine.


Dr. Diaz told Joho to come immediately to JHU where she participates in an immunotherapy clinical trial of Keytruda funded–yes funded–by your donations to Swim Across America. The trial saved her life (she has “no evidence of disease NED”), she has a bright future and Keytruda is now FDA approved. Read Stefanie’s story in the New York Times and if you are inspired by the work being done through Swim Across America labs, please consider donating to SAA: http://bit.ly/SAAdonation.

Genetic tests for mismatch repair deficiency are commercially available. But insurers might not pay for the drugs — Keytruda and Opdivo cost $150,000 a year — based on such a small study. The study was paid for by Swim Across America and other charities, and the National Institutes of Health.  – New York Times


$200,000 to Fund Research at Tampa Moffitt Leads to $3M in New Funding from NCI

Immunotherapy approaches are designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer and can result in responses lasting for years. One strategy to improve immune responses against tumors is to isolate immune cells from the tumor, grow the cells to very large numbers in the laboratory, then transfer them back to the patient as adoptive cell therapy (ACT). At the Tampa Moffitt Cancer Center, patients with metastatic melanoma have been treated with ACT in clinical trials. At the time of the initiation of these trials, the expected survival time for stage IV metastatic melanoma patients was 6-9 months. Currently, patients treated on the ACT trial are tumor-free at 46, 52, 54, 57, 59 and 66 months. Funding from Swim Across America has led to the development of additional clinical trials in patients with metastatic melanoma that combines ACT with other immunotherapy approaches that is expected to boost results even further. The crucial funding from Swim Across America has allowed for the development of improved ACT strategies resulting in additional awards to Drs. Amod Sarnaik and Shari Pilon-Thomas totaling greater than $3 million. These awards include a National Cancer Institute K23 training grant, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar grant, and a sponsored Research Agreement with Lion Biotechnologies.

Picture 1 L-R: Dr. Amod Sarnaik, Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas
Picture 2 L-R: Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas, Dr. Amod Sarnaik

SAA Hits Vegas with 7-Eleven

Swim Across America was excited to participate in the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) Convention in Las Vegas. See if you can spot Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary representing SAA at the golf tournament.

Day 2 of the NCASEF Convention in Las Vegas had the Swim Across America team and Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler Clary representing the great partnership that SAA has with the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.

The convention concluded with a banquet that included a speech by SAA’s Rob Butcher on the impact of the partnership we have with NCASEF in the fight against cancer.

SAA Family Tree (August)

SAA Family Tree is a monthly focus on stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have both locally and nationally. If you have a story or link you’d like to share, please send here.


  • Olympians Kristy Kowal and Heather Petri are mentioned in the same breath as Taylor Swift in this Boston Herald wrap-up.
  • SAA – Atlanta’s Event Director Megan Melgaard and Olympian Doug Gjertsen stopped by CBS46 to get everyone to Lake Lanier Islands on Sept. 17.
  • Brian Boyle writes #WhyISwim for the Huffington Post – look for Brian at SAA -Baltimore.
  • SAA – Atlanta’s Sheri Hart makes waves in Simply Buckhead magazine.
  • WGN came out to Ohio Street Beach to film SAA – Chicago.
  • Dr. Julie Granger of SAA – Atlanta fights cancer, fear to help other swimmers. (Atlanta INTown)
  • SAA – Seattle and its impact on cancer research in the community is profiled in 425 Magazine.
  • Mel Smith of SAA – Seattle isn’t planning on quitting swimming at 73.
  • FiOS1 covered SAA Greenwich – Stamford.


Pool Swims Across America

In Pool Swims Across America, we feature local pool swims that raise awareness for cancer research. If you’re interested in getting your local swim team or pool involved, learn more here.

June 21: Garden City Pool Swim

11-year old Alexandra Eldredge raised over $2,000 in her fifth year supporting SAA.

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July  10: Mudpuppies Swim Across America Memorial Event for Dr. Brian Goldman

Thank you to our Olympians, National Team alums, Masters swimmers and host Mary DeMilia for the Mudpuppies pool clinic to Fight Cancer — it raised $6,600 in honor of Dr. Brian Goldman, who founded the Mudpuppies.


July 13: Heather Stark’s B’nai Mitzvah Cancer Defeat

Shoutout to Heather for hosting a SAA pool swim as her B’nai Mitzvah project in Ivyland, PA – great job, Heather!


July 21: Stardust Pool Swim to Fight Cancer

It was a great evening for the 6th annual Stardust Pool Swim to Fight Cancer in Morris Township, N.J. The event aimed raised over $15K for the SAA lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Thanks to Dr. Taha Mexghoub from MSK for speaking to all the swimmers!


July 24: Innis Arden Golf Club Pool Swim

Innis Arden in Connecticut raised over $4,700 for Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.


July 31: Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim 4 a Cure

A little rain didn’t stop  the Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim 4 a Cure from making waves. Love the dedication and over $6,300 raised!