History of Women Swimmin' for Hospicare

The idea for Women Swimmin' was born in 2004 through a conversation between an Ithaca woman, looking for a unique activity to mark her 60th birthday, and her primary care physician. Both women swam the 1.2 miles across Cayuga Lake that first year and continue to be involved in the event. That first Women Swimmin' raised over $54,000 for Hospicare and Palliative Care Services and last year's swim raised more than $426,000 - a demonstration of the incredible generosity of people in Ithaca (and beyond) and their recognition of the importance of Hospicare.

Each participant in the lake swim completes the crossing at her own rate: some more experienced swimmers make the crossing in only 35 minutes; others take more than an hour, stopping to chat and dog-paddle as they move across the lake. Speed is not the important thing. What is important is sharing a unique athletic experience on Cayuga Lake with other women and raising money for Hospicare in the process. 

Women Swimmin' Laps for Hospicare

Some participants may prefer pool swimming, or may be unavailable on the day of the lake swim, so in 2015 Women Swimmin' Laps for Hospicare was added to the event. Laps Swimmers have the oppportunity to swim any distance, in any pool with a certified lifeguard to raise funds for Hospicare. In the first two years of Women Swimmin' Laps women swam in pools from as far away as Hawaii and SIngapore!

Swim Day Details

To ensure that the event remains safe and fun for all, there will be no 'rain date' for the swim. This is because we rely on the help of more than 200 volunteers and many other important support services and are unable to ensure full participation of all the volunteers and services vital to the safety of the event on two consecutive days. In the event that the swim across the lake is cancelled, we will still gather at the Cass Park Rink to enjoy breakfast from Ithaca Bakery/Collegetown Bagels, music from the Yardvarks, and celebrate everyone’s fundraising efforts!   

Stay tuned for more information about our 2017 swim!

For the 2017 registration and event timeline click here

For a list of FAQs click here

For directions and parking information click here