May 3, 2010

Swim Across America events to raise funds for Kimmel Center

Swim Across America, a national nonprofit dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events, will hold its first swims in the Baltimore area, on Sunday, Sept. 19, with an open-water swim starting from the Waltjen Shedlick Farm in Gibson Island harbor and a pool swim at the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Mount Washington. The fund-raisers will include swimmers of all ages and skill levels, including four former Olympians.

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 two swims will take place simultaneously, starting at 8 a.m. Participants can swim alone or in teams of five or more, in honor or memory of loved ones who have battled cancer. Swimmers in the open-water event, a one- or three-mile course, will pledge to raise a minimum of $500 in donations, $3,000 for teams. In the one-mile pool event, adults will commit to raising $250 and swimmers 18 and under, $125.

“We are extremely grateful that Swim Across America/Baltimore has chosen to support the Kimmel Cancer Center,” said William G. Nelson, the center’s director. “Each individual swimmer and each donation will allow us to expand our work and discover new ways to treat and fight cancer.”

Since its 1987 inception as a single swim in Nantucket, Mass., SAA has raised more than $30 million.

For more information about the upcoming event, go to