Ballantyne Magazine


Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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W H O K N E W ? Making Waves Ballant yne-based SAA Launches Local Swim Event to Fight Cancer By Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photos courtesy of Swim Across America A s a land-locked city, Charlotte might not immediately come to mind as the headquarters for the official charity of swimming. But when one considers the Queen City's reputation for produc- ing Olympic swimmers and swim programs that call Charlotte home — such as SwimMAC and Mecklen- burg Swim Association — it makes sense. Rob Butcher was living in Ballantyne in 2015 when he was recruited to become CEO of Swim Across America (SAA). One condition of his acceptance: the organization would move its headquarters to Ballantyne. Butcher says he knew a Charlotte swim would soon follow. That's because Charlotte possesses the three components the nonprofit looks for when starting a benefit swim: a core group of volunteers; a location to host a safe, fun swim; and a cancer research beneficiary that would get behind the cause. As envisioned, the inaugural SAA Charlotte Open Water Swim will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 , at the Lake Norman YMCA to benefit Levine Cancer Institute. Mary McCullagh, who has spearheaded SAA Nantucket and Boston swims,will lead the Charlotte event. As many as 500 participants — from fitness swimmers to Olympians, many of whom have been affected by cancer — will swim between one-half mile and 3 miles each. The inaugural Charlotte fundrais- ing goal is $100,000. By the fifth year, Butcher expects the Charlotte swim to raise as much as $400,000 annually, like SAA's other swims. Charlotte will be the organization's 15th open-swim benefit. The event is like Charlotte's 24 Hours of Booty but on water instead of a bike, Butcher says. Participants raise at least Olympic swimmers Missy Franklin, Kristy Kowal and Heather Petri visited SAA beneficiary Children's Healthcare of Atlanta last fall. Rob Butcher Dr. Derek Raghavan Photo courtesy of Dr. Derek Raghavan BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2017 87 Who Knew?

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