A summer tradition is building on Nantucket with the third annual Swim Across America being held on August 22 at 8 am at Jetties Beach. This event is the premiere swim of the summer for over 250 swimmers who will swim from one half to one mile to raise money to support cancer care on Nantucket. In its first two years, Swim Across America Nantucket has raised over $400,000 to fight cancer. This year’s goal is $300,000. The swimmers and their supporters raise funds that support the Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s cancer efforts. Funds will be used to bring oncologists on Island from Massachusetts General Hospital on a regular basis. In addition, patients and their families will receive supportive survivorship services free of charge through Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket.
The Swim is non-competitive and designed for swimmers of all caliber. It is well supported by the Town of Nantucket Life Guards. The Swim features some of the most pristine ocean water in the East Coast. The days’ events begin with a fifty-yard kid splash. In 2014 over 185 swimmers dove into the Nantucket Sound to support the fight against cancer. This year the theme of the event is “Our-Island-Family-Swim Cause”. All of the funds raised stay on Nantucket to support services to people and families facing the challenge of cancer and to expand the Nantucket Cottage Hospital effort’s to bring oncological services to the Island. Jill Roethke and Jim Pignato are co-event directors of the Swim. “This is an amazing event with great community involvement. Many local merchants such as Island Kitchen donate food and support the swimmers. There is nothing better than to dive into the Nantucket Sound for your neighbors who are battling cancer,” said Jill Roethke.
“We encourage everyone to go online and sign up to swim, volunteer or donate. It is an emotional day where the entire community connects in the water for a very important cause. It is worth waking up early and joining this great event,” said co-event director, Jim Pignato. Interested volunteers, donors and swimmers are encouraged to signup at swimacrossamerica.org/Nantucket. Swimmers are asked to raise a minimum of $200. “It will be the best swim of your summer if you join us,” said Jill Roethke. “There is no better way to give something back to Nantucket then to take the plunge with us,” said Jim Pignato. Even if you do not swim, people can volunteer or donate on the website or by contacting Jim Pignato at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jill Roethke at email@example.com. Swim Across America Nantucket promises to be a great community event and chance to enjoy our wonderful ocean environment.