A WaveMaker is a champion who has given so much to help our ‘Making Waves to Fight Cancer’ cause with Swim Across America. These teams have gone above and beyond to each raise over $1 million with SAA to make waves to fight cancer. You can see a full list of top fundraising teams throughout our history on our Champions Wall.
Mike Ford has been leader of TEAM HOPE since 2004 and emphasizes family participation. The nearly 100 TEAM HOPE members participate in multiple SAA-Nassau-Suffolk swims every year and hit the $1 million mark in 2016 with this enduring motto: "We are Swimmers, we are Friends, we are Families…We are TEAM HOPE."
TEAM STACEY has been participating in SAA-Sound to Cove since 2008 in memory of Stacey Rose Leondis. Stacey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 16 years old and passed away at the young age of 23. TEAM STACEY hit the $1 million mark in 2018. “Being part of the SAA family has allowed us to continue Stacey’s fight for a cure and celebrate her inspirational life.”
At the age of 41, Clare Reyolds Joyce, a mother of four, sadly passed from a battle with cancer. TEAM CLARE was formed at SAA-Long Island Sound in memory of Clare and for the sole purpose of ridding the world of cancer and allowing little boys & girls to grow up with their Moms.
Merck’s partnership began in 2017 and allowed Swim Across America to grow our charity swims into more communities to support even more oncology research. “Hundreds of Merck employees and their families have proudly supported Swim Across America, participating in charity swims, raising funds, and volunteering as Team Merck across the country,” said Jill DeSimone (Merck).
TEAM SUSAN SURVIVES
Susan Helmrich survived cancer 3 times and wanted nothing more than to have anyone who ever gets a cancer diagnosis to have the chance to live and survive as she has. Susan was Co-Event Director of SAA-San Francisco from 2006-2020 and still continues to recruit, message and inspire as leader of Team Susan Survives.
Team SAAVE stands for Swim Across America-Verizon Employees. But really we are much more - friends, family, colleagues and business partners. Team SAAVE started participating in SAA-Nassau-Suffolk and later helped establish the SAA-Tampa community.
TEAM BLAZING TIGER FISH
TEAM BLAZING TIGER FISH was a fundraising leader of the Hudson River Swim that took place between 1995 and 2006.
UCSF TEAM SURVIVE
UCSF TEAM SURVIVE has been participating in SAA-San Francisco since the event started led by Dr. Robert Goldsby and has featured some of the most inspiring stories over the years of swimmers joining the team because of their experience at the beneficiary.
TEAM NYMEX was a fundraising leader of the Hudson River Swim that took place between 1995 and 2006.
Swim Across America is celebrating 35 years of impact in 2022. SAA has raised $100 million since its inception in 1987 to support cancer research and clinical trials across the U.S. Please contact Jeni Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org for media inquiries.