Swim Across America ( www.swimacrossamerica.org ), a non-profit dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, today announced that an elite group of Olympic swimmers will return to Lake Washington for the fourth-annual Swim Across America – Seattle Open Water Swim on Saturday, September 8. Swim Across America – Seattle gives area swimmers the rare opportunity to swim alongside past members of the US Olympic Swim Team, such as medalists Mary Wayte Bradburn, Rick Colella, Emily Silver, Janel Jorgenson McArdle, Dana Kirk, Margaret Hoelzer and numerous others, as well as Canadian Olympic swimmer Chris Chalmers — all to benefit the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The event features the choice of two-mile or half-mile swims. In addition, kids are invited to a 50-meter freestyle open-water Kids’ Splash.
The two-mile swim begins at Mercer Island’s Mercerwood Shore Club (8 a.m. start); the half-mile swim begins at Luther Burbank Park’s swim beach (8:30 a.m.), also on Mercer Island, where both will finish. All participants and volunteers are invited to a post-swim celebration and award ceremony at the swim beach, featuring a pancake breakfast, refreshments, and DJ entertainment.
Interested swimmers can learn more and register at www.swimacrossamerica.org/seattle . Each adult swimmer is responsible for a registration fee of $50, which applies toward a minimum fundraising requirement of $300. Swimmers can also form teams in honor or memory of someone who has battled cancer. Last year, 257 swimmers and 160 volunteers raised more than $260,000.
“In just its first three years, Swim Across America – Seattle has raised more than $500,000 for much needed cancer research and treatment,” said Janel Jorgensen McArdle, a 1988 Olympic silver medalist and President of Swim Across America. “Our goal this year is to generate more than $300,000 for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a very worthy organization that shares our commitment to the fight against cancer.”
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance unites the adult and pediatric cancer-care services of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. Contributions from this year’s event support research and treatment for pancreas cancer patients as well as research in the Cellular Therapy Lab, which helps to improve the ability of SCCA to treat blood cancers including leukemia and lymphoma.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Swim Across America – Seattle again this year, as it provides Pacific Northwest swimmers, friends and families a powerful way to directly impact the important work being done through Seattle Cancer Care Alliance,” said Norm Hubbard, Executive Vice President of SCCA. “We are very grateful for all the time and hard work the event’s swimmers, volunteers, donors and Olympians contribute to support cancer research, prevention and treatment.”
In the past 25 years, Swim Across America has raised more than $40 million for the nation’s top cancer institutions, involving current and former Olympians and thousands of swimmers and volunteers. Nationally, the participation of Olympic athletes has been a regular feature in SAA events, representing Olympians from the Berlin Games in 1936 to Beijing in 2008 and countless World, Olympic, American, and NCAA Records and medals.