Fall is Here, Now What?

The clocks changed this weekend and the leaves are turning. Swim Across America hosted 20 open water charity swims and more than 70 charity pool swims in 2019. Our supporters raised over $8 million ‘Making Waves to Fight Cancer’ with us.48837231922_f87177c9fb_c

So, now what?

We view our role as stewards of donated funds meaning we do not invest what participants have solicited through our charity swims in the stock market. Our bank account is at its highest mark in November. And in December, we will be at our lowest point because the participant-donated funds will be wired to our beneficiaries for approved grant purposes.

While our travel slows down in the fall, the activities in other ways pick up. For example, here is a sampling of responsibilities in the fall and winter that require our focus:

  • The reality is we do have costs such as permits, insurance, shipping, hospitality, merchandise and travel that need to be paid up.
  • Once the expenses are settled, we have tie-out calls with each of our local charity swim committees. We determine a modest reserve to sustain each charity swim and then the balance becomes the grant.

In other words, we drain the bank account!

 

43208041204_a0f0aa8b01_k
Olympian and SAA Ambassador Kristy Kowal
  • We gather reports from each of our funded investigators. Our beneficiary and science committee then reviews the reports to ensure the grant was put to the intended focus. We look for successes and stories of breakthroughs that we can share.
  • Some funded investigators such as those at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) are coming to their grant cycle completion so we are selecting promising new investigators within the hospitals we can help launch.
  • We have new beneficiaries such as MD Anderson (Houston), Rogel Cancer Center (University of Michigan) (Detroit) and Hollings Cancer Center (Medical University of South Carolina) (Charleston-Kiawah) that we are selecting and awarding projects to fund.
  • Fall is the heaviest for matching gifts as we request and process on behalf of supporters.
  • We file the necessary legal paperwork to be recognized as a charity in each state.
  • The puzzle of the next year’s season is created.

And then the first week in January, we publish the Swim Across America website with our 2020 charity swims.

31202141338_bb96125d24_k

We truly appreciate the trust you place in us

– Swim Across America

Swim Across America Honored at 9th Annual Value-Based Cancer Summit

The 9th annual Value-Based Cancer Care Summit brought together more than 500 thought leaders in academic, government, pharmaceutical and biotech. Keynote speaker former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb provided his perspective on the future of oncology care and why the FDA is approving more treatments at a faster rate.

2019-Board.jpeg
Swim Across America Board of Directors attend the 2019 Value-Based Cancer Care Summit.

In a personal testimonial, Dr. Luis Diaz of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center shared how Swim Across America grant funding supported his research and clinical trial ideas that helped lead to FDA approval of a Merck immunotherapy treatment that is giving hope to many fighting cancer.

2019-Berube
Swim Across America ambassador Ryan Berube shares a personal story of his wife Michelle overcoming brain cancer.

Swim Across America, which has granted nearly $100M million dollars into cancer research, clinical trials and prevention, was honored as the beneficiary for the summit.

2019-Burt-Shamus
Value-Based Cancer Care Summit chair Burt Zweigenhaft and professional boxer Seamus McDonagh raise some funds during the charity auction.

Olympian and SAA ambassador Ryan Berube attended the summit. Ryan shared a personal story of his wife Michelle overcoming brain cancer while he was training for the Olympics. Ryan and Swim Across America CEO Rob Butcher lead the charity auction that raised $50,000. These proceeds will be used to help fund Swim Across America’s 2020 ASCO Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award.

2019-Butcher-Berube
Rob Butcher and Ryan Berube lead the charity auction.

Being honored and attending events like the Value-Based Cancer Care Summit raises Swim Across America’s profile.

Swim Across America Partners with United Airlines for “Miles on a Mission” Program

Swim Across America and United Airlines are partnering for United’s “Miles on A Mission” program where United MileagePlus members can give back to charities by donating their airline miles. Check out their promotional video for the program here.

When donating to SAA, your miles will be used to cover travel for special guests attending Swim Across America charity swims. The miles will be used to offset travel costs we would have otherwise paid for, meaning more money can be granted to beneficiary hospitals.

The campaign will run until November 22 or until we reach our goal set at 250,000 miles. Help us reach our goal and take our impact further. Please share with friends and family for the biggest impact.

Ready to donate miles? Click here: bit.ly/SAAMilesonaMission

0

 

 

Michael Phelps Returns to Pool To Support Ms. Cathy and Swim Across America

Swim Across America partnered with the Michael Phelps Foundation for an inspiring charity swim honoring Michael’s learn-to-swim coach and cancer survivor, Cathy Bennett. The event in Mesa, Arizona raised over $55,000 that will fund a cancer research project at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.

Bennett, whom Phelps affectionately refers to as Ms. Cathy, is the Program Director of the Michael Phelps Foundation where she oversees the Foundation’s signature program – IM – which provides learn-to-swim, recreational aquatic activities, organized swim instruction, as well as health, wellness, and goal-setting programming.

Phelps, the most decorated swimmer in World Championships history and 28-time Olympic medalist, retired from competitive swimming in 2016.

Notable attendees included Dr. Bill Nelson, chief of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt (2008, 2012, 2016), 2016 Olympic head coach and Arizona State University head coach Bob Bowman, and members of the ASU swim team.

PHOTOS FROM THE SWIM ACROSS AMERICA / MICHAEL PHELPS FOUNDATION POOL SWIM

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 2.57.59 PM

MEDIA COVERAGE

USA TODAY

safe_image (2)

NBC-12 

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 2.32.48 PM

The Best of Swim Across America Olympians (2019)

We appreciate the support of all the Olympians and special guests who have donated their time to support the SAA cause in 2019. These Olympians have attended our swims and special events generating awareness and raising donations for our beneficiaries. Thanks for all you do for SAA!

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – HOUSTON

Camille Adams, Ricky Berens

Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 3.46.39 PM

 

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – Fairfield County

Cristina Teuscher and Craig Beardsley

48138355163_fd5173db29_c

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – BOSTON

Eric Wunderlich, Alex Meyer and Janel Jorgensen McArdle

D_NuX7qXsAA3nfC

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – DETROIT

Peter Vanderkaay and Chris Thompson

48330240102_5524650017_c

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHARLESTON-KIAWAH

Hannah Aspden, Steve Gregg and Jenny Thompson

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHICAGO

Tom Beeri, Dave Sims, Kat Simonovic and Sebastian Rousseau

img_6114.jpeg

SAA – LONG ISLAND SOUND

Cristina Teuscher and Katie Meili

Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 9.40.11 AM

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – ST. LOUIS

Ryan Berube, Ryan Held and Mallory Comerford

 

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – DENVER

      • Ashley Twichell,

    George DiCarlo, Haley Anderson, Kara Lynn Joyce, Lindsey Mintenko, Missy Franklin, Scott Usher, Susan von der Lippe

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – NANTUCKET

Craig Beardsley

48631776712_e30ff4115c_c

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – RHODE ISLAND

Elizabeth Beisel

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 10.19.01 AM

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SEATTLE

Nathan Adrian, Mary Wayte Bradburne, Emily Silver

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – BALTIMORE

Theresa Andrews, McClain Hermes, Brenda Borgh Bartlett

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SAN FRANCISCO

Heather Petri, Dana Kirk, Ericka Lorenz, Kristy Kowal, Susan Heon-Preston, Staciana Stitts Winfield, Mike Bruner, John Moffet, Nicolle Payne,  Rada Owen, Ashley Whitney and Christine Magnuson

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – CHARLOTTE

Lauren Perdue, Hannah Aspden, Karlee Bispo, Madison Kennedy

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – ATLANTA

Missy Franklin, McClain Hermes, Steve Lundquist, Maritza Correia McClendon, Megan Neyer, Amanda Weir, Peter Wright, Nei-Kuan Chia,  Eric Wunderlich, Neil Versfeld, Andrew Gammell, Camille Adams, Paige Northcutt

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – DALLAS

Ryan Berube, Andrea Hayes Dickson and Jim Montgomery

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA – SMAC OUT CANCER POOL SWIM

Susan Heon-Preston, Kristy Kowal and Mike Bruner

MICHAEL PHELPS & SWIM ACROSS AMERICA CHARITY SWIM

Michael Phelps, Allison Schmidt, Craig Beardsley, Bob Bowman

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA FAMILY TREE (OCTOBER 2019)

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.

 

Swim Across America

Learn how to Swim to Save a Life. This Charity Raised Nearly $100 million to Directly Fund Therapies to Defeat Cancer. A Conversation with Swim Across America’s Rob Butcher and Board Chair Pam Ryan from Goldman Sachs

BrandOn.jpg

SAA – Richmond

  • SAA-Richmond Event Director Jay Peluso and Dr. Santiago Lima of VCU Massey Cancer Center promoted the swim on WTVR

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 11.10.43 AM

SAA – Atlanta

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.05.29 AM

 

SAA – Denver

  • Swim Across America CEO Rob Butcher and Team Captain Patty Waldron appeared on FOX 46

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.09.30 AM

SAA – San Francisco Bay

  • safe_image (1)

SAA – Baltimore

  • With yearly swim, Mt. Hebron High junior raises money for cancer research at Magothy River event (Baltimore Sun)

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.25.23 AM

  • Dr. Jonathan Webster of Johns Hopkins and Patient Ambassador Vanessa Brandon promoted Swim Across America on Midday Maryland

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.28.20 AM

SAA – Dallas

  • North Texas Swimmers Raise Money for Local Cancer Research (NBC DFW)Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.23.08 AM

 

  • Lake Ray Hubbard swim event helps raise money for cancer research (FOX 4 DFW)

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.31.19 AM

 

SAA – St. Louis

  • Swim Across America CEO Rob Butcher and champion swimmer Mallory Comerford promoted the upcoming swim on FOX 2!

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 11.01.08 AM

SAA – Catalina Relay Team

  • The six relay swimmers representing SAA crushed their 54-mile relay swim this September! It only took them 28 hours and they are now the 11th team EVER to complete this swim around Catalina Island! Not to mention they have raised over $60,000!

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.32.20 AM

SAA – Rhode Island

  • A Special Message on behalf of SAA -Rhode Island from Olympian Elizabeth Beisel and Providence College Coach John O’Neill

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 10.39.06 AM

Michael Phelps Gets Back in the Water

Like many others, Michael Phelps had a fear of the water as a young child. However, that didn’t deter Cathy Bennett from helping Michael develop comfort and confidence in the water. Now, as Bennett battles cancer for the second time, Phelps is diving into the water again to headline a Swim Across America charity event on Wednesday, Aug. 28, to honor his good friend with proceeds from the charity swim to benefit cancer research.

MP & CBBennett, whom Phelps affectionately refers to as Ms. Cathy, is the Program Director of the Michael Phelps Foundation where she oversees the Foundation’s signature program – IM – which provides learn-to-swim, recreational aquatic activities, organized swim instruction, as well as health, wellness, and goal-setting programming.

“Ms. Cathy and her family mean so much to me, my family, the Foundation, and countless others in the swimming community and I wanted to honor her with this charity swim,” said Phelps. “Ms. Cathy has never been one to seek any kind of attention, but raising awareness with Swim Across America to benefit cancer research will hopefully help find a cure for all forms of cancer.”

Phelps, the most decorated swimmer in World Championships history and 28-time Olympic medalist, retired from competitive swimming in 2016. The proceeds from the charity swim will benefit the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

Since 1987, Swim Across America has granted nearly $100 million to fund cancer research at Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson and other institutions.

When:  Wednesday, August 28, 5pm to 7pm
Where:  Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa, Arizona
Register:  The charity swim is limited to 50 participants. Each participant must donate or raise a minimum of $1,000
Website:  swimacrossamerica.org/SAAPhelpsSwim

Notable Attendees:  Dr. Bill Nelson chief of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt (2008, 2012, 2016), 2016 Olympic head coach and Arizona State University head coach Bob Bowman, and members of the ASU swim team are anticipated to attend the charity swim as we celebrate Cathy.

Media Requests:  Michael and Cathy will be available on Aug. 28th from 7-7:15pm to speak with media in a group format. All media will need to be credential. Requests can be made to:

Allison Moore
E-mail: moore.pr@gmail.com 
Phone: (941) 961-3708