TAMPA, Fla. – Swim Across America – Tampa Bay, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, will hold its fourth-annual open-water fundraising swim benefitting Moffitt Cancer Center. Three-time Olympic champion Brooke Bennett will serve as honorary chair for the fourth year. The event will take place at 7:45 a.m. May 30 at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.
For the past three years, the event has raised $440,000 for metastatic melanoma research and the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at Moffitt. Just last year the SAA – Tampa Bay swim raised $190,000 for Moffitt, and the organization is devoted to exceeding that amount this year.
Swimmers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate as fundraisers in the half-mile, 1-mile or the “Iron Man Distance” 2.4-mile course. They can swim as individuals or as part of a team in honor of friends and loved ones who have fought, or are fighting cancer. Participants 18 and older are asked to raise a minimum of $500, and those younger than 18 pledge to raise $200. Swimmers participating in the “Iron Man Distance” 2.4-mile course are asked to raise $1,000. To register for the swim, visit SwimAcrossAmerica.org/tampabay.
Pledges collected by swimmers, corporate sponsors and online donations will benefit Moffitt’s metastatic melanoma research led by Shari Pilon-Thomas, Ph.D., Immunology assistant member, and Amod Sarnaik, M.D., Cutaneous Oncology assistant member, as well as the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program led by Damon Reed, M.D., Sarcoma Department associate member.
“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.”
“With the money raised going directly to Moffitt’s research, we all feel a personal connection to making a difference,” said Craig Cordell, SAA – Tampa Bay event marketing director.
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. Moffitt researchers and staff will also discuss how the money raised will be used by their laboratories in the fight against cancer. Participants are encouraged to invite their friends and family. Follow the swim on Twitter at @SAATampaBay and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SwimAcrossAmerica.
If you are unable to swim or volunteer for the event, you can still make waves by donating directly to the Tampa Bay event or by sponsoring an individual or team. Click here to donate now.
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 top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact in Florida of nearly $1.6 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.