Swim Across America will kick off its annual fundraising efforts on April 13 with an event that participants should find to be right on target.
The “Take AIM at Cancer,” archery contest and other festivities will be held at the Cinnamon Creek Ranch in Roanoke and promises to be a day that area residents will not soon forget.
Andrea Dickson, co-chair of the SAA Dallas Open Water Swim event, who lives in Bridlewood and is a former swimmer on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, said the archery event was decided upon as kind of a change of pace.
“Last year was the first year we did an actual official kickoff party,” Dickson said. “We decided to have this because we wanted to educate people on what Swim Across America is all about, as well as raise funds.
“We kind of brainstormed, and we have a woman that is on the organizing committee whose parents own Cinnamon Creek Ranch. We thought, ‘how fun would it be to have a charity event with a little bit of a twist to make it fun, but also for a great cause to raise awareness.’”
This is the third year of Swim Across America and the second year of the kickoff event.
Dickson said people’s reaction to the archery event has been very positive.
“I think we’ve had a great response,” Dickson said. “Last year we did it and had about 150 people attend. The feedback was fabulous in that it was just something different. We are all part of amazing charities and give back to the community, but to be able to do something like this that is also fun, I just think it adds something to it.”
The evening will include archery, a silent auction, raffle prizes, music and a dinner, all of which raise funds for the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, and creates awareness of the SAA Dallas Open Water Swim to be held on June 8.
Dickson said that the event will be a good opportunity to learn more about what Swim Across America is all about and said she really hopes that people take away a couple of things from the event.
“One of the best things about this event is that Baylor does a lot of work with clinical trials— the first phase of a drug that may eventually treat a cancer patient, so we like what they are doing,” Dickson said.
“People can see where their money is going…we want to raise awareness and get people to come out. We want everyone to know that they can swim at the event, they can volunteer at the event or just donate, and it all really helps us out.”
Last year, the entire event raised nearly $300,000 nationwide, and about $10,000 locally. The goal for this year is to raise between $15,000 and $20,000 locally.
Pictured above (front row from L to R): Tracy Price, Kristy Mazzola, Andrea Dickson, Wendy Bryan. Back row: Lisa Carignan, Tracy Dye, Kerri Hunt, Kristy Mayers.