TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay chapter of Swim Across America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, will hold its second-annual open-water fundraising swim benefiting Moffitt Cancer Center at 8:30 a.m. May 18 at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, 7 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach. Last year’s SAA – Tampa Bay Swim raised $100,000 for Moffitt, and the group is committed to doubling that this year.
Three-time Olympic champion Brooke Bennett will serve as honorary chair of the event.
Swimmers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in the one-mile, half-mile or the “Iron Man Distance” 2.4-mile course. Participants can swim as individuals or as part of a team in honor of friends and loved ones who have fought, or are fighting, cancer.
“The SAA - Tampa Bay swim is both fun and challenging and is a great way to help make a difference in the fight against cancer,” said Robert Shapiro, Swim Across America - Tampa event director. “Moffitt researchers are passionate about finding solutions, and joining the swim is an excellent way to support their efforts.”
Participants 18 and older are asked to raise a minimum of $500, and those younger than18 $250. Pledges collected by the swimmers, corporate sponsors and online donations will benefit Moffitt’s metastatic melanoma research led by Shari Pilon-Thomas, Ph.D. and Amod Sarnaik, M.D., as well as the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program led by Damon Reed, M.D.
“Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer whose incidence is unfortunately on the rise,” said Amod Sarnaik, M.D. “With the support of Swim Across America, we are about to embark upon a promising clinical trial that combines two of the most effective treatments for patients afflicted by the most advanced stage of melanoma.”
“The Moffitt Adolescent and Young Adult program is growing rapidly utilizing a motivated and diverse team to address the needs of patients 15-40 years old with cancer,” said Damon Reed, M.D. “Thanks to the support of organizations like Swim Across America, we have been able to make significant impacts on the lives of patients with cancer and we expect to continue to grow in terms of research, support, fertility services, patient involvement in the program, and survivorship.”
The event will feature a celebration and awards ceremony where Moffitt researchers and cancer survivors will share their stories of hope in the fight against cancer. To register for the swim, visit SwimAcrossAmerica.org/tampabay. Follow the swim on Twitter: @SAA_TB or Facebook: facebook.com/swimacrossamerica
About Swim Across America
Swim Across America, Inc., is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of thousands of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping to find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service. Since its inception in 1987, SAA has gone from a single swim in Nantucket, MA, to dozens of events nationwide. In its 25 years the organization has raised over $45 million, and continues ensure that money raised locally, stays local so that all swimmers will know their impact. To learn more about the Swim Across America -Tampa Bay, make a donation, or register to swim or volunteer, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org/TampaBay.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Since 1999, Moffitt has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, twitter and YouTube.