Courtesy: USA Swimming
Following the conclusion of the USA Swimming Foundation’s 2019 Swim-a-Thon™ contest, four teams were named Gold Medal winners for their fundraising efforts and entered to win this year’s grand prize: a prize pack from the USA Swimming Foundation, including a year of free license fees from our online fundraising partner, TeamUnify, and a visit from Olympic medalist Kelsi Dahlia. In a spin-of-the-wheel decision, Spokane Waves Aquatic Team of Spokane, Washington was declared the 2019 Gold Medal Grand Prize winner.
Spokane Waves Aquatic Team raised $32,920 this year – an all-time high Swim-a-Thon revenue for the team. One athlete, Madison Bauman, raised $1,000 in pledges alone.
“Our team looks forward to Swim-a-Thon itself when we get to blast the music, swimmers race each other to get their sets done, random prize awards – and we usually have a celebration feeding those hungry swimmers afterwards!” said Amy Ingalls, Spokane Aquatic Board Secretary. “Our Swim-a-Thon funds were very important for our team this year as one of our home pools was undergoing renovations for an extended period in 2019, and funds raised helped offset the costs of renting alternate water for practice, as well as helping with our financial commitment to assist paying for renovations for the next five years. The funds also help pay for equipment replacement for dryland training and upgraded timing pads/meet equipment, as well as enable our team to support a scholarship program for swimmers who may otherwise not be able to swim competitively.”
Four Gold Medal teams were entered into the Grand Prize drawing, earning their spot by receiving the most Swim-a-Thon points of all teams in their respective team-size categories. Along with Spokane Waves Aquatic Team, the Gold Medal teams entered in the drawing were Seward Tsunami Swim Club (Seward, Alaska) who raised $29,670, Rose Bowl Aquatics (Pasadena, Calif.) who raised $130,000 and North Baltimore Aquatic Club (Baltimore, Md.) who raised $68,900.
Teams and swimmers who compete in a Swim-a-Thon ask family members, friends, neighbors or businesses to pledge money per pool length swam or make a flat donation in support of their team. Swimmers then have two hours to swim a maximum of 200 lengths. Gold Medal winners are recognized by earning the most points for total fundraising dollars for their team size.
Together more than 500 swimming teams from across the country hosted USA Swimming Foundation Swim-a-Thon contests in 2019, raising more than $7.1 million. As part of the Swim-a-Thon program, five percent or more of gross funds raised by Swim-a-Thon teams support the USA Swimming Foundation. In 2019, those funds totaled $360,000 in contributions to the Foundation. Whether providing grants to programs that offer free or reduced-cost swim lessons, or giving financial support to athletes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to support swimmers at all levels across the country; the funds raised through Swim-a-Thon events are vital in helping fulfill that mission.
Teams interested in hosting a Swim-a-Thon in 2020, should visit usaswimmingfoundation.org/swimathon to learn more.