Courtesy: USA Swimming
The USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the sport’s national governing body, has awarded four swimming teams the title of Swim-a-Thon™ Gold Medal winners for their fundraising efforts in 2019. 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 in vital funds for both the clubs and the Foundation’s mission of saving lives and building champions.
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 provide the experience of swimming to children at all levels across the country and funds raised by these teams are vital in helping fulfill that mission.
In 2019, three of the four Gold Medal teams from 2018 once again raised the most in their respective team-size categories. Seward Tsunami Swim Club (Seward, Alaska) was named the Gold Medal winner in the under-75 swimmers category for the seventh-consecutive year. In the 76-150 swimmers category, Spokane Waves Aquatic Team (Spokane, Wash.) earned its first gold medal recognition. Receiving its second-consecutive Gold Medal recognition is North Baltimore Aquatic Club (Baltimore, Md.) in the 151-300-swimmers category. Claiming its fourth Gold Medal title in the over-300 swimmers category and raising the most money of all 2019 Swim-a-Thon participants is Rose Bowl Aquatics (Pasadena, Calif.). Rose Bowl’s other Gold Medal titles were awarded in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
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.
These Gold Medal swim teams each earned a prize package which includes: a customized Deck Pass patch, a gift certificate to a local pizzeria and a $200 Visa gift card provided by the USA Swimming Foundation’s official online fundraising partner, TeamUnify.
Along with the Gold Medal prize, each of the four teams will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing, with the winner receiving a visit from Olympic medalist Kelsi Dahlia, as well as a year of free licensing fees from TeamUnify. Both Seward Tsunami Swim Club (2016) and Rose Bowl Aquatics (2014, 15 and 2018) have previously won the Grand Prize. The 2019 Grand Prize winner will be announced on February 13, 2020.
Teams interested in hosting a Swim-a-Thon in 2020, should visit usaswimmingfoundation.org/swimathon to learn more.