Islanders take cancer fight to the ocean with SwimBowen

SwimBowen now has a framework for fund distribution

Part of the SwimBowen event building adventure, is hammering out a fundraising mission statement. The SwimBowen Society is taking this fundraising business seriously, with heart, thought, and the future in mind. 

Thank you to Joanne Gassman, Colleen O’Neil, Cathy Robertson and Madeleine Shaw for your invaluable feedback on this process.

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Our mission: funds raised in our July 21 race from Tunstall Bay to Onion Island and back will provide Bowen Islanders with financial assistance to support their self-care needs during active cancer treatment.  Suggested support services may include massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, nutritional counseling, pedicures and food delivery. 

Our fund dispersal strategy includes three levels of support: level I $500 to support cancer patients receiving surgery with no follow up radiation or chemotherapy, level II $800 to those receiving surgery and radiation with no chemotherapy, and level III $1000 to those receiving surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  Our target recipients are those whose financial situation make it challenging to cover the extra self-care costs necessary during active cancer treatment. 

Prioritizing fund dispersal will proceed as follows: when requests are equal, funds will be dispersed on a first come first serve basis. When requests vary in level, level III requests will be serviced first, then level II, then level I.  The number of fund dispersals will depend on total funds raised and the level of need in the community, while ensuring $500 remains in our bank account for next year’s swim startup costs.

The SwimBowen Fund Disbursement Subcomittee will identify Bowen Islanders in need.  Local general practitioners (in Bowen Island and Horseshoe Bay), Bowen Island’s Caring Circle, Bowen Island Church ministers, local homecare nurses, and the social services department at the Vancouver Cancer Agency will all be made aware of the funds.  As well, families may contact SwimBowen on behalf of affected family members.  All requests and recipients will remain confidential. Fund disbursement will commence after Oct 15, 2018.

The future of the SwimBowen fund: if possible, and depending on the success of the event, over the next five years we hope to build an endowment fund held with the Bowen Island Community Foundation so that eventually all operating costs may be paid out of the endowment fund.  Once achieved, 100 percent of donated funds will go to Bowen islanders in need of self-care support during active cancer treatment.  For more information on the SwimBowen Fund, please go to 

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