Who we are and What we do
Our Mission Statement
Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming- related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.
Since 1987 SAA has grown to hold dozens of events all over the country, each with its own distinct personality. You can swim under the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, swim with NESCAC conference swimmers at Nantasket Beach, or even with Olympians in Boston Harbor. Swim Across America began as a grassroots organization with events developing organically. Now, those events raise hundreds of thousands of dollars - and money raised is still given to local beneficiaries which happen to be some of the best in the world. Now, we are nationwide and bringing Swim Across America events to the whole country, from coast to coast.
The SAA community is made up of swimmers, friends, parents, sons and daughters, teachers, coaches and the well - meaning. Many of our most loyal supporters aren't swimmers, but honor family and friends by donating, volunteering, or by helping us raise money in our continued effort to find a cure. Join the SAA family and Get Involved.
Swim Across America is the inspired sequel to a triumphant Run Across America completed by the two founders of SAA in 1985. This eight-month journey, which spanned the country from Boston to Los Angeles, raised over $1 million for cancer research. What makes this trek all the more remarkable is that one of the determined runners, a 22-year-old from Fairfield, CT, had lost his right leg to cancer a decade before. Following college graduation, these two childhood buddies embarked on their mission, making history in the process. Together, they instilled hope in all who fight this disease and heightened consciousness about overcoming this frightening diagnosis.
It was in 1987 that Jeff Keith and Matt Vossler decided to bring their cause back home and transitioned from running to swimming for a cure. With a focus on raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment, Swim Across America was chartered as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Since our inception, we have grown from a single event in Nantucket, MA, to dozens of events across the U.S. From New York to California, we are swimming across America. To date, Swim Across America has raised over $45 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Our major research beneficiaries- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Cancer Support Team of Westchester Country, Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, Women & Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, The Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy in Stamford, CT, Mercy Medical Center in Long Island, Cold Spring Harbor Lab in NY, Fighting Chance in Long Island, and Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, CA - all recognize our funding source as instrumental to their success. Without Swim Across America, much of their research would be left with no monetary support.
Our events unite recreational swimmers, competitive swimmers, Masters swimmers, Olympians, kayakers, boaters and hundreds of volunteers all committed to pursuing a cure for this devastating disease. In all, over 5,000 swimmers, ranging in ages from 4 to 78, participate on an annual basis in our events.
However, in this one year alone, 1,334,000 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the US. Every man, woman and child is somehow affected. This staggering statistic offers compelling proof of the need to continue devising new approaches to research and treatment.
There are many ways to "Make Waves to Fight Cancer" with Swim Across America. Whether it is through swimming, volunteering, giving or cheering on loved ones, we welcome anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of the fight against cancer. Our events are all unique, so pick one that is right for you and bring a friend. One thing all our swims share is a family friendly environment that invites people to come together for a common cause. Help make a difference today by joining the Swim Across America family.