Wesleyan Swimming & Diving Teams Raise Nearly $13,000 During Swim Across America Event for Cancer Research

wesleyan-swim across america - 2013On Saturday, September 7, Wesleyan University's men's and women's swimming & diving teams participated in the fourth annual Swim Across America (SAA), held in Narragansett, R.I. at Roger Wheeler State Beach to help make waves in the fight against cancer and raise money for cancer research and Woman & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.  Wesleyan swimmers and divers were able to raise close to $13,000 ($12,782.00) which almost doubled the $7,500 amount the teams raised last year.  Despite not being able to swim in the event because of the jelly fish, Liyan Yao, a sophomore swimmer from Laurel Hollow, N.Y., was Wesleyan's top fund raiser, accounting for $935.  In all, a record-setting $153,210.28 was raised by all the swimmers in the event. SAA events started 26 years ago and have raised well over $50 million for cancer research.  The open water swims have grown to over 20 cities throughout the United States with many of the other NESCAC colleges participating in the July event at Nantasket Beach near Boston, Mass.

Wesleyan Coach Peter Solomon said he couldn't be more proud of his teams' dedication to this event and the amount of effort they put into both the fund raising they did over the summer as well as the one-mile swim on Saturday morning.  Seas were choppy and filled with jelly fish.  Yet, despite the rough seas, abundant marine life, and over 500 swimmers in the water, everyone had a great day at the beach swimming.  "Hats off to Alexa Burzinski ('15) and Jake Rosenbloom ('15) who organized Wesleyan's team and spearheaded the fund raising efforts last spring," Coach Solomon expressed  "Their enthusiasm for Swim Across America enabled the team to surpass the $10,000 goal they had set last April."

After the swim, many of the Wesleyan swimmers traveled to Narragansett Town Beach to ride waves and hang out on the beach for a few hours before returning to campus.  "What better way to kick off the year," concluded Coach Solomon, who also competed in the one-mile swim and raised $700 for the event.

“The swim is a great way for people to come together and participate in a sport they love alongside Olympic swimming legends while raising critical funds for Woman & Infants Hospital,” says 1986 Olympic Silver Medalist Janel Jorgensen McArdle, and SAA president.
Wesleyan University joined the University of Connecticut, Providence College, Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island to help grow this year’s swim.  Neighboring teams from Assumption College, Boston University, and Holy Cross also participated making it one of the largest groups of college athletes in an open-water swim in the country.
Swim Across America is a non-profit corporation that runs events from Boston to San Francisco to support cancer research at the country’s finest hospitals and institutions. Proceeds from the Rhode Island swim go directly to Woman & Infants hospital, the largest and most diverse oncology service for woman in the Northeast, providing a broad spectrum of care for gynecological and breast cancers. It has evolved into a world-renowned, multi-disciplinary facility where clinicians uncover key answers to the questions of cancer, and focus on the needs of the patients and families.
About Swim Across America
Swim Across America is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising money 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 athleticisms, community outreach and direct service.
About Woman & Infants Hospital
Woman & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. The primary teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine. Women & Infants is the ninth largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country with nearly 8,400 deliveries per year. In 2009, Woman & Infants opened the country’s largest single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Woman & Infants has been designated as a Breast Cancer Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiology; a center for In Vitro Maturation Excellence by SAGE In Vitro Fertilization; a Center of Biomedical Research in Excellence by the National Institute of Health; and a Neonatal Resource Services of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the National Institutes of Health’s Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.