SAA CELEBRATES RECORD-BREAKING YEAR IN ORLANDO

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Members of the Swim Across America family came together in Orlando at Rosen Plaza for the Champions Against Cancer Summit this October 11-13.

Board Members, Event Directors, Olympians and Oncologists joined the national SAA staff to celebrate a record-breaking 2017 and the $3 million charitable contribution to SAA from Merck.

CHAMPIONS AGAINST CANCER WELCOME RECEPTION

See how many faces you recognize in this fun collection from the reception.

CHAMPIONS AGAINST CANCER SUMMIT

We were honored to have some of the country’s leading oncologists speak as well as plenty of SAA leaders. You can see some of the excitement from the Merck announcement in this album.

Thursday morning presenters included Dr. Taha Mexghoub (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Dr. Paul DiSilvestro (Women & Infants Hospital), Dr. Jeff Borgia (Rush University Medical Center), Dr. Lynda Vrooman (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)

The surprise Merck charitable contribution was celebrated by special Olympian guests Rowdy Gaines, Steve Lundquist, Janel Jorgensen McArdle, Heather Petri, Ryan Berube, Eric Wunderlich, George DiCarlo and Craig Beardsley

The afternoon session featured Dr. Carlos Becerra (Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas), Polona Safaric (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Dr. Julie Saba, (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco), Dr. Marc Symons (Feinstein Institute of North Shore) and Dr. Jonathan Gerber (Levine Cancer Institute of Carolinas Healthcare System).

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Friday presenters included Dr. Jim Garvin (New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center), Dr. Douglas K. Graham (Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Children and Emory University), Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas (Moffitt Cancer Center), Dr. Damon Reed (Moffitt Cancer Center) and Dr. Richard Garlic (University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital).

SAA RECEIVES A $3 MILLION CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION

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(L-R): Olympian Rowdy Gaines, Olympian Craig Beardsley, SAA CEO Rob Butcher, Olympian Heather Petri, Olympian Steve Lundquist, Olympian Janel Jorgensen McArdle, SAA Board Chair Hugh Curran, Olympian Ryan Berube, Merck Global PR Director Claire Mulhearn, Olympian Eric Wunderlich, Merck Oncology Marketing Director Jennifer Faikish, and Olympian George DiCarlo.
Merck announced at Swim Across America’s Champions Against Cancer that the company is making a $3 million charitable contribution to Swim Across America. Established 30 years ago, Swim Across America, a national nonprofit organization, was founded with the purpose of granting the proceeds from its benefit swims to fund cancer research and clinical trials.
“Every 15 minutes, 50 Americans are diagnosed with cancer,” commented Rob Butcher, CEO of Swim Across America. “The good news is that more Americans are becoming survivors than ever before, and Swim Across America’s commitment to finding new cures and treatments has been an important catalyst for that progress. We are going to apply Merck’s contribution to better support our existing benefit swims and add new ones with a goal of funding $100 million into cancer research and clinical trials in the next decade.”
“Merck is committed to advancing research and to giving more families hope in the fight against cancer, and we know that that progress can only come from many people and organizations doing their part,” said Jill DeSimone, Senior Vice President, U.S. Oncology at Merck. “Swim Across America has created a program that has inspired thousands of Americans, including many Merck employees, to participate in their benefit swims with the proceeds funding cancer research and clinical trials. We know this contribution will help them do even more to fight cancer.”
“I was at our first swim when we raised $5,000,” commented Craig Beardsley, a 1980 Olympian and Swim Across America supporter of 30 years. “The Swim Across America mission is a testimony to the human spirit of coming together to try to solve a problem that has affected nearly everyone. Merck’s contribution is going to allow us to speed up our ability to add more swims so we can fund even more research projects.”
Since its inception, Swim Across America has granted $70 million toward cancer research and its grant funding has played a major role in the development of four FDA-approved cancer treatments. More than 100 Olympians have donated their time attending Swim Across America benefit swims and hospital visits.
Swim Across America hosts benefit swims in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Greenwich, Kiawah, Long Island, Nantucket, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Tampa.
Tax-deductible donations to Swim Across America may be made online. Please phone 980-237-9127 or email Rob Butcher to discuss a bequest or naming Swim Across America in your estate planning.
Photo (L-R): Olympian Rowdy Gaines, Olympian Craig Beardsley, SAA CEO Rob Butcher, Olympian Heather Petri, Olympian Steve Lundquist, Olympian Janel McArdle, SAA Board Chair Hugh Curran, Olympian Ryan Berube, Merck Global PR Director Claire Mulhearn, Olympian Eric Wunderlich, Merck Oncology Marketing Director Jennifer Faikish, Olympian George DiCarlo.