Club Swimming Hosts Annual Swim Across America Charity Swim


Villanova’s Club Swim team raised nearly $4,000 for cancer research.

Julia O'Keefe, Staff Writer

Villanova’s club swimming team hosted its annual Swim Across America charity swim on April 15th to conclude its month-long fundraiser for the organization. This year, the team raised nearly $4,000 for cancer research, prevention and treatment. 


Founded in 1987, Swim Across America is a non-profit organization that hosts charity open-water and pool swims to raise money for cancer research across the country. Club swimming partners with SAA every year, setting up individual fundraising pages and ending with its charity swim, in which all teammates swim as many laps as they can for 10 minutes. 


“Club swim aims to raise the most money possible and have lots of fun during the event,” club swim’s philanthropy chair, Kate O’Malley, said. “We could not participate in this fundraiser each year if we were not seeing positive impacts.” 


As philanthropy chair, O’Malley was tasked with communicating with a representative from Swim Across America to organize the event and set up individual pages. The team exceeded its original goal of $3,000. She was proud of the results the team put forward and was happy to know the team’s efforts are going towards something bigger. 


“The people at the Swim Across America organization appreciate our support and love our enthusiasm, so we can’t let them down,” O’Malley said. “Everyone on the team wants to be part of something bigger than themselves, and Swim Across America is a great way to contribute to a great cause.” 


To O’Malley, Swim Across America is an important community builder. It creates a space for teammates to have fun, play music and cheer each other on during the swim, but to also reflect on why events like these are so important. Every lap swum reflected the work put in to make an impact and help contribute to the fight against cancer. 


Organizing the event connected O’Malley to a larger network of people who are both devoted to the sport of swimming and enacting positive change. She spoke to representatives who informed her of how other university teams structure their own fundraisers, providing further encouragement and ideas. She was so inspired by the mission that she decided to take an extra step to become an SAA ambassador. 


“Cancer affects everyone in some way,” O’Malley said. “This fundraiser is a great way to connect with others throughout the U.S. and raise money for a great cause. I was really inspired to raise a lot of money last year because of the incredible work Swim Across America does. Now, I can continue to be a bigger part of it.” 


Club swimming will continue its partnership with the organization and will host another charity swim next spring, where it will try to surpass this year’s total. O’Malley and her teammates can only see the fundraiser becoming bigger and better. With such a large percentage of the team participating and supporting the SAA mission, club swimming hopes to help “make waves” to fight cancer. 


For more information about Swim Across America and its mission, visit to read about past and upcoming fundraisers, its history and successes.