Clear Channel Outdoor and Swim Across America Teaming Up

Clear Channel Outdoor is teaming up with Swim Across America with a #MakingWavesToFightCancer public service campaign that will see SAA digital messaging in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Tampa, and San Francisco. The PSA messaging will run in each community two weeks leading up to the charity swims in those communities.

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In New York City, Swim Across America messaging will run July 16th through August 4th on two of Clear Channel Outdoor Times Square digital billboards.

In addition to the public service messaging, Clear Channel Outdoor local offices will be volunteering at SAA charity swims in their communities through Clear Channel Spirit Days.

“Giving back is part of the Clear Channel Outdoor culture,” commented Gene Leehan, Executive Vice President and Senior Regional President, Clear Channel Outdoor. “Everyone has been or knows someone affected by cancer. Clear Channel Outdoor and our employees are honored to be part of Swim Across America’s charity program that gives hope and inspiration to those fighting this horrible disease.”

“Each of our charity swims has a sense of charm and community with a local beneficiary,” commented Rob Butcher, Swim Across America CEO. “Much appreciation to Clear Channel Outdoor for providing a platform that the Swim Across America name, cause and impact will be messaged nationally.”

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SAA Debuts WaveMaker Swag Bag for 2019

Swim Across America is excited to celebrate our 32nd year with a Swim Across America WaveMaker Swag Bag that includes three exclusive SAA – branded items!

As part of the WaveMaker club, we want you to show your SAA pride year-round. The official 2019 WaveMaker Swag Bag offers a branded cinch bag with zipper, a 16-ounce flexible Silipint 16 oz silicone glass and a custom BOCO Gear trucker hat. Want to take these awesome items home with you? Register today and set your fundraising goal to WaveMaker!

 

Highlights of the swag bag include:

  • Cinched drawstring bag with zipper compartment for extra storage and functionality.
  • Eco-friendly, reusable and unbreakable silicone pint glass with unique tie-dye design from Silipint. Great to use on a pool deck, beach or any outdoor
  • A customized BOCO Gear Trucker Hat perfect for your outdoor training and adventures.

 

“Hope Has No Finish Line” – Honoring ‘Amazing’ Grace Bunke

March 25th is the one year passing of ‘Amazing’ Grace Bunke. She inspired us with her bravery throughout her battle with terminal cancer. And Swim Across America is honoring Grace by sharing her message “Hope Has No Finish Line” at all our charity swims in 2019.

Grace’s home was SAA—Atlanta. She was treated for osteosarcoma at the beneficiary Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Grace’s wish was to be the #1 fundraiser and challenged our community to continue raising funds, so doctors can give hope to families affected by cancer. In 2018, Grace individually raised $119, 579 making her the #1 fundraiser for SAA.

Grace’s legacy of inspiring and giving hope to others continues through Team Grace. You can read more about Grace and donate in her memory here.

 

SAA Partner Orca Announces 2019 Fundraising Prize for All Open Water Swims

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SAA Partner Orca is supporting Swim Across America in 2019 by rewarding the best early fundraiser at every swim in 2019 with an Orca wetsuit! The top early bird fundraiser determined by each swim will have the choice of an Orca wetsuit or Orca gift package as shown below. Step up the early fundraising and stay tuned to your swim to learn how to win!

You can further support Orca and Swim Across America by using the code SAAPARTICIPANT10 to get 10% off at orca.com and also support SAA!

Check out the the wetsuits or gift package items below and get started fundraising!

 

SWIM ACROSS AMERICA PARTNERS WITH MUSC HOLLINGS CANCER CENTER FOR CHARLESTON-KIAWAH ISLAND SWIM

IMG_8156Swim Across America is excited to announce that the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina will be the official beneficiary of its Charleston-Kiawah Island Open Water Charity Swim held annually at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

“As an organization, one of our main goals is to have all funds raised at our events granted to local beneficiaries,” said Swim Across America CEO Rob Butcher. “Partnering with a local cancer research program with a great national reputation such as the Hollings Cancer Center will create a tangible impact in the greater Charleston area as well as bring excitement to our Charleston-Kiawah swim community.”

Swimming enthusiasts, including Olympians, kayakers and volunteers will take part in Swim Across America’s 3rd annual Charleston-Kiawah Island Open Water Swim on Sunday, August 4th, 2019.

“This last year Hollings Cancer Center has made several milestone scientific discoveries,” said Gustavo Leone, Ph.D. Director of Hollings Cancer Center. “The SAA community will help us move these discoveries into impactful clinical trials that will change the conversation about cancer. Engaging the community to bring solutions to fight and eradicate this terrible disease is simply a good thing. We are looking forward to the 2019 event on Kiawah Island.”

 

Swim Across Americais a national non-profit that runs swimming-related events throughout the country to support cancer research at the most highly recognized hospitals and institutions. To date, more than $80 million has been raised nationwide over the last 32 years and more than 100 Olympians have participated in SAA events. For more information, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org.

The Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer research program in South Carolina. The cancer center is comprised of more than 120 faculty cancer scientists with a research funding portfolio of $44 million and a dedication to reducing the cancer burden in South Carolina. Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques within multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and other specialists equipped for the full range of cancer care, including more than 200 clinical trials. For more information, please visit www.hollingscancercenter.org.

 

Best of 2018 Beneficiary Check Presentations

Swim Across America celebrated the end of the year across the country by presenting checks to our esteemed beneficiaries. Here is a collection of smiling faces as the hard fundraising work is now seeing its impact multiplied in the fight against cancer.

SAA – Tampa at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Moffit Cancer Center

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SAA – Chicago at Rush University Medical Center

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SAA – Charlotte at Levine Cancer Institute

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SAA – Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Medicine

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SAA – Atlanta at Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 

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SAA – Greenwich at Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy

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SAA – Nantucket at Nantucket Cottage Hospital 

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SAA – Seattle at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

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SAA – San Francisco at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

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SAA – Denver at Children’s Hospital Colorado

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SAA Congratulate the Top Fundraisers of 2018

We are excited to recognize some extra special people – our Top Swim Across America Team and Individual Fundraisers of 2018. These people pushed their fundraising efforts to make the biggest waves in their communities when it comes to fighting cancer. 

Top 5 Fundraising Teams

5. Team Valerie – $141,287 (SAA – Long Island Sound)

The team surpassed their goal this year and raised $141,287 to fight cancer with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and Cancer Support Team! Great job #MakingWaves in your community, Team Valerie!

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4. Team Amazing Grace + Take That Benedict – $155,722 (SAA – Atlanta)

Team Amazing Grace + Take That Benedict which raised $155,722 for Swim Across America – Atlanta benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The team was formed in honor of 2 sarcoma patients – Grace and Julie. One of the highlights of the SAA – Atlanta swim this year was Vicki Corte Bunke and Dr. Karen Wasilewski (pictured) swimming to honor Grace’s memory! #amazinggrace

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3. Team Julian – $169,731 (SAA – Greenwich-Stamford)

Team Julian from Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford! The team took a big fundraising leap from last year and raised $169,731 for Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT)! Way to go, Team Julian!

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2. Team Susan Survives – $171,431 (SAA – San Francisco Bay)

Team Susan Survives from Swim Across America – San Francisco Bay! The team hit their record high raising $171,431 this year to support UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco! Team Susan Survives is captained by SAA – San Francisco’s very own Co-Event Director and cancer survivor Susan Helmrich! The team has raised over $768,000 to support cancer research and patient care since 2011!

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1. Team Stacey – $249,103 (SAA – Nassau-Suffolk)

Congratulations to our Top Fundraising Team of 2018: Team Stacey from Swim Across America – Nassau – Suffolk! The team raised $249,103 to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Feinstein Institute Northwell Health! Team Stacey celebrated its 10th Anniversary of participating in SAA – Sound to Cove this year and is the Top Fundraising Team for the second year in a row! The team was formed in memory of Stacey Rose Leondis and has raised over $1.1 million for cancer research, treatment, and prevention! Way to Make (BIG) Waves to Fight Cancer, Team Stacey!

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Top 5 Individual Fundraisers

5. Dan Benoit – $36,593 (SAA – Seattle)

Dan Benoit raised $36,593 for SAA – Seattle’s 10th Anniversary this year! Dan has been involved with Swim Across America – Seattle for 3 years after his son, Matt formed Team Benoit while undergoing treatments at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He has raised over $120,000 since 2016 to support immunotherapy clinical trials and cancer research Seattle Cancer Care Alliance! Way to #makewavestofightcancer, Dan!

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4. Steven Lurie – $39,107 (SAA – San Francisco Bay)

Our 4th Top Fundraiser of 2018: Steven Lurie from Swim Across America – San Francisco Bay! Steven participated in his first SAA- San Francisco Bay swim last year and was the #1 Fundraiser of 2017. He got involved after his son, Seth was diagnosed with a rare cancer at the age of three! Steven has raised over $90,000 in just two years to support UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital where his son was treated and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland!

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3. Mark McCooey – $52,830 (SAA – Long Island Sound)

Shoutout to our #3 Top Fundraiser: Mark McCooey from SAA – Long Island Sound! Mark raised $52,830 this year to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and Cancer Support Team! Mark has been participating in SAA – Long Island Sound for the past 17 years as a part of Team Clare, named after his late cousin, Clare Reynolds. Team Clare has raised over $1M since its inception! Thanks for continuing to join us in this fight against cancer, Mark! We look forward to seeing you #makewavestofightcancer again next year!

Mark McCooey Top Fundraiser 2018

2. Tony Sibio – $101,917 (SAA – Long Island Sound)

Our #2 Top Fundraiser of 2018 is our very own SAA – Long Island Sound Event Director, Tony Sibio! Tony raised $101,917 this year to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and Cancer Support Team! His family has been involved with SAA – Long Island Sound from the very beginning after his son was diagnosed with cancer and treated at New York-Presbyterian. Thank you for all that you do, Tony and way to go on being the second highest fundraiser this year!

Tony Sibio Top Fundraiser 2018

1. Grace Bunke – $119,579 (SAA – Atlanta)

We are honored to announce our #1 overall fundraiser of 2018 is ‘Amazing’ Grace Bunke of SAA – Atlanta. Grace’s fundraising totaled $119,579 this year benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she was treated. Grace Bunke was one of the top national fundraisers and SAA – Atlanta’s number one fundraiser in 2017. One of her final wishes was to be the top national fundraiser for Swim Across America in 2018. In completing this goal, she continues to inspire not only the Atlanta community but all of us at Swim Across America.

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