UCLA Hosts Inaugural On-Campus Swim Across America Event
LOS ANGELES – Over 100 participants gathered at Spieker Aquatics Center on the campus of UCLA this Saturday for the Swim Across America – Los Angeles charity swim, raising over $12,000 and counting for the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Donations for the event are still being accepted HERE.
The event was conducted as a joint partnership between UCLA Swim & Dive, Swim Across America, and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Several fun activities were on the docket for the event, including a diving exhibition, relay competitions, a show from the USA National Synchronized Swimming Team, and an afternoon trip to Westwood Village.
"We are thrilled to have successfully completed our first annual Swim Across America event in partnership with the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center," said UCLA head swimming & diving coach Jordan Wolfrum. "So many of us have been touched by cancer, so to know we can make a positive impact on research and treatment is very special to us."
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 51 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, the highest designation possible from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The Jonsson Cancer Center has over 500 scientists and physicians who conduct basic, translational, clinical and population-based cancer research and provide state-of-the-art cancer care, and more than 400 active clinical trials focused on cancer care are currently enrolling patients at UCLA and beyond. Since 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved 18 therapies that were developed through research conducted in UCLA labs. Funds raised go directly to support the next generation of cancer researchers at UCLA.
"I have to thank [Faculty Athletic Representative] Dr. Michael Teitell for first coming to us with the idea for this partnership and including our team with Swim Across America," said Wolfrum. "I also have to thank our Director of Operations, Margaux Verger-Gourson, for working tirelessly to create an event that would bring together our campus and surrounding community for a great cause. We look forward to building on this event each year and bringing out even more people to swim for a great cause alongside wonderful people.
Several members of the UCLA swim & dive program – both current and alumni – were on hand to participate in the charity swim and deliver remarks.
"It was so exciting to kick off the inaugural swim in Los Angeles that raised much-needed funds for crucial cancer research," said Swim Across America Pool Program Director Craig Beardsley. "Thank you to all the passionate participants who came out to help bring Swim Across America to Los Angeles. Together we'll find better ways to treat cancer. It was a very fun, inspirational day!"
Swim Across America was founded in 1987 by Matt Vossler and his lifelong friend and college roommate Jeff Keith, who is a cancer survivor. Throughout its years, Swim Across America has raised $100 million in the fight against cancer.
Stay up-to-date on all program news by following the team on Twitter: @UCLASwimAndDive.