NESCAC Swimming Teams Raise Money for Swim Across America
HADLEY, Mass. – For the third year in a row, over 50 student-athletes, coaches and alumni of NESCAC swimming programs participated in Swim Across America (SAA) in an effort to raise money for cancer research. A total of eight NESCAC teams took part in an ocean-mile swim during the summer of 2008 at two SAA events and combined to raise over $42,000.
Swimmers from Amherst, Bates, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts and Wesleyan all jumped into the water at the SAA event at Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass. on July 12, with Bates joining the NESCAC group for the first time this year. Of the nearly $300,000 given at the Nantasket Beach swim, the seven NESCAC squads contributed roughly $31,000. The Bantams led the way with over $13,500 raised while the Jumbos were not far behind with a donation of almost $8,000. The Williams team took part in the Sound to the Cove event in Glen Cove, N.Y. on August 17 and managed to contribute over $11,500 to this year’s $42,000 NESCAC total.
NESCAC teams became involved in Swim Across America beginning in the summer of 2005 when the Trinity team participated for the first time at the recommendation of Bantam swimmer Mike Lenihan. Lenihan, who graduated from Trinity in 2007, began swimming in the annual event during his days at North Andover (Mass.) High School at the suggestion of a friend from his former hometown on Long Island.
After the Bantams swam as part of SAA in 2005, Trinity reached out to other conference members and was joined on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in 2006 by Amherst, Hamilton, Middlebury, Tufts, Wesleyan and Williams. In their first joint swim at Nantasket Beach, the group managed to raise $40,000 for cancer research. All told, NESCAC teams have given over $142,000 to Swim Across America over the past three summers.
Swim Across America celebrated its 22nd anniversary this year. The organization has grown from a single event in 1987 in Nantucket, Mass., to 10 events in four major metropolitan areas and has plans to expand to more areas in the coming years. To date, SAA has raised over $20 million for cancer research, awareness, prevention and treatment. The events unite recreational swimmers, competitive swimmers, master swimmers, Olympians, kayakers, boaters, and hundreds of volunteers all committed to finding a cure. According to Swim Across America, close to 2,000 swimmers participate every year, ranging in age from seven to 78. Major research beneficiaries include the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Institute in Chicago, Cancer Support Team of Westchester Country, Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, and UCSF Children's Hospital in San Francisco.
NESCAC teams are already looking forward to participating in Swim Across America next summer, with the Nantasket Beach swim tentatively scheduled to take place on July 11, 2009.