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.



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SAA On the Scene – November 2018

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!


SAA – Long Island Sound Pool Swims Celebrate 25 Years of Making Waves

SAA – Long Island Sound is excited to celebrate 25 years of making waves to fight cancer through pool swim and the annual open water swim. Check out all the great fundraising being done all summer!

NYAC Travers Island Pool Swim – July 7th

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.

Westchester Country Club Pool Swim – July 15th

Orienta Beach Club Pool Swim – July 22nd

Chappaqua S&T Club Pool Swim – July 23rd

SAA on the Scene

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)
March 12th 

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)
April 3rd 

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.

Pool Swims Across America (March 2017)

In Pool Swims Across America, we feature local pool swims that raise awareness for cancer research. If you’re interested in getting your local swim team or pool involved, learn more here.

Ranney Panthers Swim for a Cure (Feb 18th) — Tinton Falls, NJ

Led by junior Matthew Chang, the Ranney Panthers Swim for a Cure raised $3,500.


THANKSwimming FOR A CURE Pool Swim (Feb 26th) — New York, NY

Matthew Lipton raised over $5,000 for his Mitzvah project and continued the pool swim tradition that his sister started 6 years ago in memory of their grandmother.



25 Years of SAA – Long Island Sound History

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.











2017 Captain’s Dinner Kickoff

Team Suffolk Making Waves

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!



Pool Swims Across America

In Pool Swims Across America, we feature local pool swims that raise awareness for cancer research. If you’re interested in getting your local swim team or pool involved, learn more here.

June 21: Garden City Pool Swim

11-year old Alexandra Eldredge raised over $2,000 in her fifth year supporting SAA.

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July  10: Mudpuppies Swim Across America Memorial Event for Dr. Brian Goldman

Thank you to our Olympians, National Team alums, Masters swimmers and host Mary DeMilia for the Mudpuppies pool clinic to Fight Cancer — it raised $6,600 in honor of Dr. Brian Goldman, who founded the Mudpuppies.


July 13: Heather Stark’s B’nai Mitzvah Cancer Defeat

Shoutout to Heather for hosting a SAA pool swim as her B’nai Mitzvah project in Ivyland, PA – great job, Heather!


July 21: Stardust Pool Swim to Fight Cancer

It was a great evening for the 6th annual Stardust Pool Swim to Fight Cancer in Morris Township, N.J. The event aimed raised over $15K for the SAA lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Thanks to Dr. Taha Mexghoub from MSK for speaking to all the swimmers!


July 24: Innis Arden Golf Club Pool Swim

Innis Arden in Connecticut raised over $4,700 for Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.


July 31: Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim 4 a Cure

A little rain didn’t stop  the Metuchen Municipal Pool Swim 4 a Cure from making waves. Love the dedication and over $6,300 raised!


SAA – LIS Duo attends all Eight Pool Swims

In 2016, Westchester Masters teammates Dan Levy and Carrie Dillon completed the mile swim at all eight of the Westchester and Rockland County pool events supporting Swim Across America – Long Island Sound. Levy is also a big part of the  Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Club pool swim, where he’s been the swim coach since 1998.

Levy made all eight events in honor of his sister, Karen, who passed away after a long battle with colon cancer in 2008.

Dillon was able to swim in seven of the events with Levy, in honor her dear friend Joe Arena, who passed away in 2016 from brain cancer.

The duo also supports Ed Hickey, who continues his daily mile swims from July 11th to September 11th in memory of his son. Hickey has reached 64% of his goal. If you’d like to support his swims, you can still do so on his Swim Across America page.


The Long Island Sound Pool Swims are a huge part of the success of SAA – Long Island Sound! We want to give thanks and recognition to the hundreds of swimmers, volunteers and donors that make all these incredible benefit pool swims happen. Get all the Swim Across America news on the Sound as it hits at the SAA – LIS Facebook page.

NYAC Travers Island – July 8th

Watch Katie Shields representing Cancer Support Team and the NYAC pool swim on RyeTV

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Westchester CC – July 9th

Great Job By Local Swimmers (Hamlet Hub)

Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Club Pool Swim – July 10th

Watch Tony Sibio, Dan Levy and Max represent SAA on FiOS1 news

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Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Raises Thousands for Cancer Charities (patch.com)


Coveleigh Pool Swim – July 20th


Orienta Beach Club – July 23rd

Lake Isle Pool Swim – August 6

Sarah Cohen participated for the first time and in her own words:

I swam for my first time this year with SAA in the Lake Isle pool swim. I swam to support my mom who was diagnosed in April with metastatic melanoma. My partner, best friend and I made this video for her, and all the people who donated, of the swim … SAA has brought me some relief- a place to put my energy and focus. A way to channel all the chaos that cancer causes in a family members life- and funnel it into something good and honorable. My mom was in the hospital most of the summer, including the day of the swim- but she is home now- still battling. I hope this video can bring strength and hope.

Sarah’s Swim from Swim Across America on Vimeo.