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2021 Charlotte Open Water Swim

Team Tar Heel


Welcome to Swim Across America’s Team Tar Heel Fundraising Page!

Swim Across America (SAA) was established as a 501(c)3 public charity in 1992.  It funds cancer research, clinical trials and patient programs by hosting open water and pool swims. The events are paired with local cancer research facilities, and here in Charlotte, SAA is paired with the well-known Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital.

Thankfully, SAA open water and pool events are back “in-person” after a long year of dealing with COVID 19. On Sunday, Oct 3, 2021, SAA will host an open water event at YMCA Camp Thunderbird in Lake Wylie, SC just down the road from the Queen City.  And, Team Tar Heel is excited to join the Swim Across America Family for the first time!

Last year, SAA’s motto was, “The Mission Does not Stop”.  As we all know, perhaps at a very personal level, although the world came to a screeching halt due to COVID 19, cancer did not, nor did the doctors and scientists who are searching for a cure. An estimated 40% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Much progress has been made in cancer treatment in the last 5 years, but National Cancer Institute funding for investigative research and clinical trials has decreased 25% over the past 10 years. This benefit swim is so important because it raises dollars that are invested into early-stage cancer research and clinical trials.

We want all of our supporters to know that this year, our inaugural year, and every year, Team Tar Heel will remain, “Committed to the Mission” and are excited to announce that the 2021 Charlotte open water swim is in memory of the ever-smiling Carolina Swimming & Diving Alum Janis Hape Dowd ’80.  Janis was a 1976 Olympian who spent her adult life in Charlotte, courageously battled cancer and the effects of treatment, while supporting Swim Across America for many years. Being able to honor Janis’ life, her legacy and her friendship means so much to so many of us.

We all have been affected by cancer and here is our chance to unite and join the efforts to find a cure, as well as to honor Janis and what she meant to Carolina Swimming & Diving. The doctors and researchers at Levine Cancer Institute are at the forefront of breakthrough research, giving people hope and a better quality of life throughout their cancer journey.  They need our help in “making waves in the fight against cancer.”

We know that Janis would be very proud of our efforts.  Her effervescent personality was apparent in everything she did. Please help us keep Janis’ memory alive by joining our team in this very important fight by swimming in the event on October 3.  If you can’t participate in the swim, we hope you will support us by making a gift to Team Tar Heel. Anything you can do will help in the search for better treatment options and perhaps one day, drown this terrible disease. 

Team Tar Heel Co-Captains - Sue Walsh UNC ’84 and Bailey Burt UNC ‘18

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You can make a donation online by clicking on the 'Donate Now' button on this page. 


If you prefer to donate via check, please send check donations to Swim Across America, 8508 Park Road, #389, Charlotte, NC 28210.


Check should be made out to Swim Across America but please include a note mentioning our team or the swimmer you are supporting!





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