BALTIMORE, Maryland, April 21. SWIM Across America (SAA), the national non-profit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness
for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events around the country, will hold its first swims in the Baltimore-area on Sunday, September 19, at 8 AM with an open water swim starting from the Waltjen Shedlick Farmin Gibson Island Harbor and a pool swim at the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Mount Washington.
The much anticipated fundraisers will include swimmers of all ages and skill levels, including former Olympians Janel Jorgensen, Wendy Weinberg Weil, Craig Beardsley and Kate Ziegler. Pledges collected by swimmers, corporate sponsors and online donations will benefit the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
Olympian Michael Phelps will serve as the official starter of the open water swim and his swim school has partnered with SAA to develop a free,
16-week training program for beginner-level swimmers interested in
participating in the event.
"The Michael Phelps Swim School and I are honored to be a part of the Swim Across America event here in Baltimore to help promote the sport of swimming and raise money for a great cause," said Phelps. "The beginners program will be a great way to create opportunities for more people to get in the water and participate, regardless of their current ability and comfort level."
The program will be a progressive, 16-week training plan free to registrants of the bay or pool swim. It will feature organized group work-outs that are designed to help participants reach their goal of swimming one mile, regardless of ability level.
"Swim Across America is incredibly excited to be coming to the Baltimore market," said Janel Jorgensen, the organization's executive director. "Baltimore athletes are among the most committed and philanthropic in the country and our greatest hope is that through our swim, we can inspire people to act. This event brings us one step closer to finding a cure for cancer and that is what motivates us."
The open water and pool swims will take place simultaneously on Sunday, September 19 starting at 8 AM. Participants can swim alone or in teams of
five or more, in honor or memory of loved ones who have battled cancer. Swimmers participating in the open water event will start from the Waltjen
Shedlick Farmin Gibson Island Harbor and pledge to raise a minimum of $500 in donations, $3,000 for teams. Swimmers will be able to take part in either the one or three mile course.
The pool swim will take place at the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Mount Washington. Participants of all ages will be able partake
in the one mile event with swimmers 18 and under committing to raise $125 each, adults $250.
Immediately following both swims, there will be a celebration for participants' families and friends and an awards ceremony
recognizing individuals and teams that have raised the most money for the
SKCCC. Doctors from the Center will be on hand to discuss how the money raised will be used in the fight against cancer.
"We are extremely grateful that Swim Across America/Baltimore has chosen to support the Kimmel Cancer Center," said William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.
and director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns
Hopkins. "Each individual swimmer and each donation will allow us to expand our work and discover new ways to treat and fight cancer."
Since its inception in 1973, the SKCCC has become one of the most prestigious and advanced cancer centers in the world. Dedicated to understanding human cancer and finding more effective treatments, their scientists were the first to map a cancer genome, deciphering the genetic blueprints for colon, breast, pancreatic, and brain cancers. Of the 75 cancers for which all genes have been sequenced, 68 have been done at
the Kimmel Cancer Center. These discoveries have paved the way for personalized therapies. Among its many ground-breaking achievements, Kimmel Cancer Center researchers were among the first to perform bone marrow transplants to treat blood and immune-forming cancers and also were among the first to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines.
Swim Across America, Inc., is a national, non-profit 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 hosting swims in over 25 states annually. In its 24 years, the organization has raised over $30 million.
To learn more about the Swim Across America/Baltimore, make a donation and/or register to swim or volunteer, please visit http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/Baltimore.
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