35 Stories of Impact: John O’Neill of SAA-Rhode Island

John O’Neill
Swim Across America – Rhode Island

12 years with Swim Across America
Age 62; Raised over $250,000 across all events with Providence College Swimming and Diving Team

“Too many family members and friends have been lost to cancer and we wanted to do something that could help.”

John O’Neill is the head coach of the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams. John is an incredible coach, leader and example and it is seen through his relationship with his athletes whom he has a wonderful relationship with. John has been the support system for two of his athletes who faced cancer battles – Colleen Lowell (‘97) and senior Kara McCurdy. Both tell a similar story of the incredible support from Coach JO.

John joined the Swim Across America community 12 years ago because he wanted to help. “Too many family members and friends have been lost to cancer and we wanted to do something that could help.” He quickly became part of the Swim Across America – Rhode Island leadership, having great involvement with the unique college teams program. Each year Providence College Swimming and Diving teams participate in the charity swim. The Friars have raised over $250,000 over the years to support cancer research at Women and Infants Hospital Rhode Island. He has also connected with many other college team coaches and encouraged their participation. Thanks to John, over 10 college teams participate annually. “Our RI Swim is unique with so many college participants involved.  We hope that once they graduate and relocate, they stay involved with SAA no matter where their future takes them!”

Swim Across America is celebrating 35 years of impact in 2022. SAA has raised $100 million since its inception in 1987 to support cancer research and clinical trials across the U.S. Please contact Jeni Howard at jhoward@jhowardpr.com for media inquiries.

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