By Meaghan Cahill ’20
Before the start of the 2019-2020 season, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams joined colleges all over the northeast to raise money for cancer research at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island as a part of the 10th Annual Swim Across America (SAA) event.
In the ten years that SAA has taken place in Rhode Island, it has grown into one of the largest SAA events in the country.
Providence College Swimming and Diving Head Coach, John O’Neill, who is on the board for SAA-RI, said, “It’s extraordinary to think how important this swim has become to all those whose families are impacted by cancer.”
SAA was founded in 1985 as a sequel event to Run Across America. The first swim took place in 1987 in Nantucket, MA. Since then, SAA holds 20 open water benefits across the country and 100 annual pool swims. The overall mission of SAA is to “unite the swimming community by hosting benefit swims that raise money to fund life-saving cancer research and clinical trials.”
This year’s event, which was to be held at Roger Wheeler Beach in Narragansett, RI, had to be cancelled due to four to six foot swells and rip currents caused by Hurricane Dorian. However, the teams involved were still able to raise over $200,000 in donations.
PC raised the most money out of the 10 schools involved with a total of $34,407. PC swimmer Parker Cramer ’21 raised a total of $3,800, the third highest amount for the entire event and the most out of all PC athletes involved. In the 10 years that PC has been involved in the event, the swim team has raised over $220,000.
“We can all take pride as our event has topped the one million dollar mark for funds raised,” O’Neill said on the money raised for Women and Infants Hospital, one of the largest oncology services for women in the northeast.