Women Swimmin' for Hospicare

Swim Day Details ~ Saturday, August 13, 6 AM- 12 PM

To ensure that the event remains safe and fun for all, there is 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 due to weather or blue algae, the cancellation will be announced on social media and email. 

Come to Women Swimmin' and cheer the swimmers on! Spectators are welcome to take a shuttle between 6:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Union Fields from Cass Park to the Ithaca Yacht Club (IYC) on Saturday, August 13th for a delicious breakfast, live music, and closing ceremony, all to celebrate our community’s efforts! Stay home if you have symptoms. Masks are required on all busses and encouraged at IYC.

Women Swimmin’ Swim Day Schedule 

Saturday, August 13, 2022 

 All times are approximate 




5:00 a.m. 

Women Swimmin’ staff and early set-up volunteers arrive and begin setting up. 

5:30 a.m. 

The Safety Team makes preliminary determination if weather is favorable for the lake swimmin portion of the event. If the weather does not look or is not forecasted to be safe for lake swimmin’, the Women Swimmin’ staff update key volunteers and posts to the Women Swimmin’ website and social media 

5:30 a.m. 

Other volunteers begin arriving, per their assigned role. 

5:45 a.m. 

Support Paddlers arrive at IYC, check-in, and get on water by 6:15 a.m.  


HAB Harriers from Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Community Science Institute begin visual inspection of the swim course to look for signs of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).  If their inspection shows no signs of HABs the swim continues as planned. 

6:00 a.m. 

Lake swimmers begin to gather for check-in at Cass Park Rink, according to their pod assignment. 

6:00 a.m. 

Escort Paddlers begin to arrive at IYC and get ready to put boats in the water per their assignments. Please arrive at least one hour before your pod gets in the water.  

6:30 a.m. 

Shuttle buses begin runs between Cass Park Union Fields and Ithaca Yacht Club (IYC) 

7:10 a.m. 

The first pod of swimmers enters the water for their swim across the Lake! 

7:30 a.m. 

Ithaca Bakery breakfast opens for spectators and volunteers. 

7:45 a.m. 

The Yardvarks begin to play. 

7:45 a.m. 

Merchandise and raffle sales open. 

8:00 a.m. 

Swimmers begin arriving back at IYC. 

9:00 a.m. 

Last pod of swimmers enters the water  

11 a.m. 

Final Swimmers complete their swim and arrive at IYC 

11:15 a.m. 

Closing ceremonies, award presentation, drawing of raffle winner  

11:30 a.m. 

Clean-up begins. Feel free to stay andhelp! 

11:45 a.m. 

Last run of shuttle buses from IYC to Cass Park

Save the Dates! 

  • Lake Swimmer Registration Opens ~ May 6th
  • Lap Swimmer and Go the Distance Registration Opens ~ May 6th
  • Boater Registration Opens ~ May 6th
  • Volunteer Sign-Ups - See Volunteer Info
    • Friday, August 12 ~ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at Boynton Middle School
    • Saturday, August 13 ~ 5:30 am - 10:00 am at Cass Park
    • Saturday, August 13 ~ 6:00 am - 1:00 pm at Ithaca Yacht Club
  • Optional Support & Escort Boater Clinic at IYC ~ Monday, August, 8 at 6-8pm. Bring your boat and PFD. Come prepared for full immersion.
  • Mandatory Power Boater and Jet Ski Mtg ~ Thursday, August 11 - 7:00 pm at Ithaca Yacht Club
  • Mandatory Kayak Safety Team Meeting ~ Monday, August 8
  • Mandatory Boater Meeting ~ Friday, August 12 - 7:00 pm at Boynton Middle School
  • Participant and Volunteer Packet Pickups - Hospicare, 172 East King Road 
    • Wednesday, August 10 ~ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
    • Thursday, August 11 ~ 8:00 am - 10:00 am
    • Thursday, August 11 ~ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Women Swimmin’ for Hospicare Lake Swim ~ August 13, 6:00 am-12:00pm

You can read about our safety protocols in the Participant Safety Manual.

Hospicare and the Women Swimmin' planning committee will be here to support you with developing your plan, with fundraising, or to answer any other questions you may have. Reach out to us at any time -- and be sure to check back on this site and join us on social media to watch for some of the fun, engaging initiatives we have planned! 

Women Swimmin' for Hospicare - Register here!

Women Swimmin' for Hospicare is a community swim (not a race!) for women ages 18 and over. All money raised benefits the work of Hospicare & Palliative Care Services. Join us for this spectacular summer tradition! Swim the lake, be a boater, volunteer, fundraise, or set your goal for how you want to GO THE DISTANCE for Hospicare in 2022! 

History of Women Swimmin' for Hospicare 

In 2004, an Ithaca woman was looking for a unique activity to mark her 60th birthday. Her primary care physician suggested a swim across Cayuga Lake, and offered to join in the fun. That inaugural 1.2 mile journey launched Women Swimmin’ for Hospicare!

In its first year, Women Swimmin' for Hospicare raised over $54,000. Now, 18 years later, the annual event raises more than $400,000 -- a demonstration of the incredible generosity of people in our community and the recognition of Hospicare’s impact on patients and families throughout Cortland and Tompkins counties.

Fast, experienced swimmers make the crossing in 35 minutes, while others take more than an hour, stopping to tread water and share stories of loved ones with their fellow swimmers and escort boaters. Speed is not important: what matters is sharing a unique experience on Cayuga Lake, and raising money for Hospicare in the process. 

Registration for Lake Swimmers opens on Friday, May 6, 2022 and closes when we reached our maximum of 325 Lake Swimmers. All swimmers must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the swim. 

Women Swimmin' Laps for Hospicare 

In 2015, we launched Women Swimmin' Laps for Hospicare to allow participants the option to raise money for Hospicare while swimming any distance in any pool with a certified lifeguard. Laps swimmers have participated in pools as far away as Hawaii and Singapore! Now, anyone (of any gender identity) can swim laps to fundraise, through Going the Distance for Hospicare, the companion fundraiser to Women Swimmin' for Hospicare. 

Go the Distance for Hospicare

We are inviting our entire community (all ages and genders welcome!) to join us in “Going the Distance” for Hospicare.  Each participant will decide what that means to them, and will work to achieve this goal while raising money for Hospicare.  We will support these creative endeavors from now through August 13, when we will gather to celebrate our success.  We have invited all past swimmers, boaters, volunteers and supporters to join us – there’s no limit on the number of people who can be involved in this community event!​

The impact of your involvement will be felt by Hospicare patients and their families throughout the year. The funds you raise enhance our ability to provide the comfort measures our patients and families need, in hospice and in our palliative care program. Donations also underwrite bereavement and educational services for the community.

Whether you've been a past swimmer, paddler, Kayak Safety Team member, volunteer, or spectator -- or if this is your first year ever participating -- you are invited to join us for what promises to be a unique, fun community endeavor.

How it works:

  • Register through this site on or after May 6. There is a $25 registration fee to participate.  
  • You'll be given your own participant page, which you can customize to share how you plan to "GO THE DISTANCE FOR HOSPICARE."  You might choose to run a mile every day, paddle a certain distance in the lake, do a workout every day, or anything else that inspires you! 
  • Share this page with your friends, families, colleagues and other loved ones and ask for their support in helping you reach your goal.

Fundraise for Hospicare

Register through this site on or after May 6. There is a $25 registration fee to participate.  You'll be given your own participant page, which you can customize to share why you are fundraising for Hospicare. Share this page with your friends, families, colleagues and other loved ones and ask for their support in helping you reach your goal.