Swim Across America Awards a Record $6 Million in Grants to Fight Cancer for 2020

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In 1987, an inaugural charity swim was hosted across Long Island Sound that raised $5,000 for cancer research. Since then, Swim Across America charity swims have granted nearly $100M that has funded innovative cancer research and clinical trials. Swim Across America grants have played a major role in the development of immunotherapy, detection, gene therapy and personalized medicine. The impact is that families who hear “you have cancer” are more than ever hearing “there is hope.”

In 2020, Swim Across America will be awarding a record $6 million in cancer research grants that will fund more than 50 projects and programs at the following beneficiaries: Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (Connecticut), Baylor Scott & White Sammons Cancer Center (Dallas), Cancer Support Team (Westchester, NY), RUSH University Medical Center (Chicago), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York), Columbia University Medical Center (New York), Dana- Farber Cancer Institute (Boston), Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (New York), Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center (Charleston), Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (Baltimore), Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (Tampa), Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute (Charlotte), MassGeneral Hospital for Children (Boston), MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York), Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa), Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Palliative and Support Care of Nantucket, Siteman Cancer Center (St. Louis), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, UC Benioff Children’s Hospitals (San Francisco and Oakland), Children’s Hospital Colorado (Denver), University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center (Detroit), VCU Massey Cancer Center (Richmond) and Women and Infants Hospital (Rhode Island).

In addition to these grants that are being funded by Swim Across America charity swims within their community, Swim Across America is awarding $110,000 in grants to the Conquer Cancer Foundation (American Society of Clinical Oncology—ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) that will fund young investigators who have promising ideas to fight cancer.

For more information, please visit swimacrossamerica.org

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!

 

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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.

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We truly appreciate the trust you place in us

– Swim Across America

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

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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

 

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MEDIA COVERAGE

USA TODAY

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NBC-12 

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Behind the Scenes: Swim Across America Times Square PSA with Clear Channel Outdoor

image1-6Background: Clear Channel Outdoor teamed up with Swim Across America for a #MakingWavesToFightCancer public service campaign that placed SAA digital messaging in eight markets including Times Square in New York City. The digital PSA promotes SAA charity swims in each market. Thanks to the Clear Channel Outdoor team for supporting the Swim Across America mission on the largest scale! You can read about more about the partnership here.

Times Square Details: The 15-second ad cycles for 5 minutes every hour from July 15th – August 4th, 2019.

The two screens stand 100 feet tall combined  –  55′ H x 31′ W and 44′ H x 44′ W to precise on the dimensions. The location is adjacent to Duffy Square and the TKTS on Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets.

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Creative Team: Swim Across America Director of Marketing Ryan Baucom led the team project with the creative talents of brand designer Miriam Weiskind (mdoubleu) and Swim Across America Digital Media Intern Hannah Aspden.

FULL VIDEO

Swim Across America Wins Healthiest Employer Award in Charlotte

Swim Across America was recognized at the 2019 Charlotte Business Journal Healthiest Employers Awards and made the podium the small business category. The program honors local companies with outstanding health and wellness initiatives that are committed to creating a healthy workplace and making wellness a priority and proactively shaping the health of their employees.

The national team also set up a recruiting booth at the Expo for SAA – Charlotte at the Expo.

 

Swim Across America Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

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Transparency, accountability and financial health. Charity Navigator is a non-profit watchdog and has certified Swim Across America with 4-stars, the highest possible rating. We are thankful to all participants, volunteers, sponsors and donors for your ongoing trust and support of the Swim Across America mission. Learn more about how SAA received four stars here: http://bit.ly/SAACharityNavigator.

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