TAMPA, Fla. – Swim Across America – Tampa Bay, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment, will hold its third-annual open-water fundraising swim benefitting Moffitt Cancer Center at 6:30 a.m. May 31 at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. Last year’s SAA – Tampa Bay Swim raised $150,000 for Moffitt, and the group is dedicated to exceeding that amount this year.
Both veteran and first-time open-water swimmers are invited to participate in the half-mile, 1-mile or the “Iron Man Distance” 2.4-mile course. Swimmers can participate as an individual or as part of a team to raise money and “make waves to fight cancer.” To register for the swim, visit SwimAcrossAmerica.org/tampabay.
“We’re making a difference because the money raised is going directly to Moffitt’s research,” said Craig Cordell, SAA – Tampa Bay event marketing director.
Three-time Olympic champion Brooke Bennett will again serve as honorary chair of the event. She is training for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“It really is about touching lives in different ways than just getting on top of an Olympic podium and receiving an Olympic gold medal,” Bennett said.
Participants 18 and older are asked to raise a minimum of $500, and $200 for those younger than 18. Swimmers participating in the “Iron Man Distance” 2.4-mile course are asked to raise $1,000.
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.
"Florida has one of the highest incidence rates of melanoma in the country, so Moffitt Cancer Center is diligent in its pursuit to develop new therapies,” Pilon-Thomas said. “We are grateful to Swim Across America for their ongoing support of our cutting-edge therapies for patients with metastatic melanoma.”
After the swim, Moffitt researchers and cancer survivors will share their stories of hope in the fight against cancer at a celebration and awards ceremony. Participants are encouraged to invite their friends and family. Follow the swim on Twitter at @SAA_TB and Facebook at 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 to ensure that money raised locally, stays local so that all swimmers will know their impact. To learn more about 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. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. 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.