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.
As the 2018 Open Water season comes to an end, SAA National members have been at some great events around the country spreading the SAA mission. Check them out and contact us if you have an event you’d like to have featured!
Golden Goggles Award Ceremony (New York, NY – November 19, 2018)
Swim Across America’s own and Olympian Craig Beardsley represented SAA at the 2018 Golden Goggles Awards in New York. Craig along with 4-time Olympic Medalist Maya Dirado, presented the Coach of the Year Award!
World Open Water Swimming Association Conference (San Francisco, CA – November 10, 2018)
SAA’s Director of Events Megan Melgaard and San Francisco Bay Swim Co-Event Director Susan Helmrich presented “Swimming for Good” and “Why I Swim” on behalf of Swim Across America at the WOWSA Conference held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Santa Barbara Pool Swim (Santa Barbara, CA – November 4, 2018)
The inaugural “SB Swims for a Cure” pool swim was held at the Los Banos del Mar Pool in Santa Barbara, California. The event doubled their fundraising goal in just it’s first year, raising over $11,400! SAA’s own Megan Melgaard and Craig Beardsley were able to attend the event and give some pointers to the swimmers! If you’re interesting in starting a pool swim contact Craig Beardsley!
A great kickoff pool swim for the summer with 60 swimmers raising $60k to fight cancer. The night began with a swim clinic led by Kim Vandenberg (2008 Olympian) and Laura Sogar (World Champion medalist) with the kids! The night ended by honoring Kevin Carolan, NYAC pool director, coach and SAA-LIS and NYAC supporter with the Eugene P. Culligan award.
Members of the Swim Across America family are active in their communities. SAA on the Scene shares stories from the “dry side” of our events where the SAA mission to make waves to fight cancer is honored and recognized. Feel free to send submissions for future posts here.
Swim Across America national board meeting – Johns Hopkins (Baltimore)
SAA-Baltimore and Johns Hopkins hosted the national board meeting in March. The board met William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D. and toured the Johns Hopkins Swim Across America lab. SAA team members also made a trip to Meadowbrook Aquatic Center.
YMCA Nationals (Greensboro)
1980 Olympian Craig Beardsley and SAA CEO Rob Butcher are YMCA National alums that were happy to share the Swim Across America mission in Greensboro.
Collegiate Club Nationals (Atlanta)
Craig Beardsley and Megan Melgaard cheered on the collegiate swimmers at Georgia Tech.
2017 will mark SAA – Long Island Sound’s 25th year raising money to fight cancer through research, as well as provide for those who are going through treatment. We give thanks to all of you who have partnered with us throughout the years to make this event such a success. Below is a compilation of all historical photos, videos and flyers. We hope you’ll join us again this year to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. All historical photo albums can be found here.
The Team Suffolk Pool Swim to Fight Cancer just had another incredible year, raising almost $50,000. The swim started in 2011, and leaders have done a great job passing on the baton to keep this SAA – Nassau-Suffolk event growing. The Lennon Family has been taking the lead the past few years and Kelly Lennon was recognized by the Huntington Town Board this year (see more below). Over the last 5 years Team Suffolk has raised more than $200,000.
Thanks to the Team Suffolk coaches (John and Frank) for embracing the event, supporting it and welcoming it as a chance for their community to come together and see their team show strength and support to family members or swimmers who might be battling cancer.
On Wednesday, Dec 7th Councilwoman Susan Berland and the Huntington Town Board presented Kelly Lennon with a proclamation for her efforts organizing Team Suffolk’s annual Swim Across America Pool Swim. Kelly has participated in each event, and was the team organizer the last two years. Kelly has personally raised over $35,000 for SAA. Kelly is an accomplished swimmer and will be attending SUNY Geneseo in the fall and swimming for Coach Paul Dotterweich and his BlueWave. Congrats Kelly!