SwimSwam contributor Gisselle Kohoyda wrote this report.
When childhood friends Jeff Keith and Matt Vossler founded Swim Across America they had no intentions of it becoming the amazing non-profit organization it is today. Founded in 1987, Swim Across America has raised over $40 million for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer center which goes towards cancer research, treatment and prevention. Swim Across America is intended for all ages and skill levels.
Swim Across America hosts three types of events: large scale open water swims, community oriented pool swims and virtual swims. Open water swims will vary from the ½ mile course to the 22 mile relay swim. The pool swims are typically hosted by a community organization and swimmers are to complete a certain number of laps, which can vary in distance. The SAA virtual swim program allows people to raise money by participating in a non-SAA sanctioned event, such as a regular race or completing the swim portion of a triathlon.
Kate Ullinger has made the commitment to compete in this year’s SAA event hosted in Rhode Island. Her objective is to raise $600 as she swims in the name of another, Harold Anderson. His team objective is to raise $7,000. Kate’s page can be found here* and is open for donations. Ullinger will be a freshman on the Rhode Island swim team, and will have her first day of classes a week from Wednesday.
Olympians such as Mel Stewart, Margaret Hoelzer, Tara Kirk, Brooke Bennett, Ariana Kukors, Lea Loveless Maurer, Alex Meyer, Dara Torres, Michael Phelps, Aaron Piersol, Summer Sanders and Eric Shanteau have helped raise money in the past for the fight against cancer during their swim.