Swim Across America – Atlanta, a nonprofit that hosts benefit swims that fund pediatric cancer research, last month announced a partnership with Children Healthcare of Atlanta’s Friends volunteer organization and the Atlanta Swim Association to launch a summer pool swim program throughout metro Atlanta. Their combined outreach encourages summer league teams and neighborhood pools to add fun-raising to their summer swim season with an easy turnkey program provided by Swim Across America.

With the association and the Friends group immersed in Atlanta’s swim and neighborhood communities, the partnership allows Swim Across America – Atlanta to easily bring their expertise in fundraising for a cancer cure to metro Atlanta’s youth swimmers and local pools. Proceeds from the pool swims will contribute to the overall goal of $500,000 for the Swim Across America - Atlanta Open Water Swim Sept. 22 at Lake Lanier, and raises funds for clinical research trials at Children’s Healthcare’s Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Neighborhood pools and swim teams can dedicate a practice, organize a Lap-A-Thon or host a pool party to raise funds. In turn, Swim Across America will provide banners and swim caps for the event, and provide guidance and online tools to generate enthusiasm and participation.

Dana Gillis, pool swim liaison for the Friends group, has already received great interest and had three swim clubs committed as they kick off their summer swim season. “It’s a simple and meaningful opportunity for your pool or club to support a cause, and even honor or remember a friend or neighbor battling cancer,” Gillis said in a news release.

One example is the pool swim Riverwood High student Eemil Harkonen organized at the Martin's Landing pool in Roswell Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Harkonen's pool swim proceeds will be part of Team Riverwood’s efforts in the fall to raise a record of $500,000 in proceeds for early stage research at the Aflac Cancer Center.

Franke Mardsen, who retired the association’s annual Kid for Kids Meet benefitting Children’s in 2017 after 25 years, was thrilled to partner and encourage its swim leagues to make Swim Across America a part of the upcoming season.

“We want to continue to support Children’s, in particular their efforts to help cure childhood cancer, and their Aflac Cancer Center has done exceptional work,” Mardsen said in a news release. “We are excited to partner with Swim Across America, a program dedicated to finding the wonderful day when children’s cancer is a thing of the past.”

As for Swim Across America, the pool swims are a great first step for young swimmers to experience the organization, and to eventually join over 550 swimmers at the Atlanta Open Water Swim at Lake Lanier each September.

For more information or for assistance in scheduling a pool swim, email Alison Fealey at alison.fealey@gmail.com or visit https://bit.ly/2mbKUcq.

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