United as One Community 

While we don't yet know what the summer months will bring, we know that the work of our Y can't pause due to uncertainty, and neither can Peaks to Portland.  We are counting on you to join us by registering to swim and making sure that kids in our community have the support and the opportunities to grow and thrive despite the challenges of this pandemic.   They need us now more than ever.  

As a Y supporter, you know that in the last 40 years Peaks to Portland has evolved to become much more than a race. Its positive impact is felt year-round by hundreds of kids in our community who might not otherwise have access to quality childcare, social development opportunities, wellness, and more.  These opportunities are made even more necessary by the prevalence of distance learning and remote school settings.   

A Legacy of Resiliency

The Peaks to Portland Swim began in the 1920s with a handful of tough swimmers looking to test their mettle by swimming from Peaks Island to Portland's  East End Beach. To keep warm, they coated themselves in axle grease.

Over the years, the event has grown in size and sophistication. And while World War II disrupted the race for a few years (for fear of naval mines), swimmers – and our community - have persisted.

In 1982 the YMCA of Southern Maine revived Peaks to Portland, and the race grew to become the world-recognized and critically important community event it is today.

To ensure this legacy of generosity continues, and to support swimmers who have been training for and dreaming of this race, we excited and proud to continue the tradition and move forward with this great event.

Your participation in this year’s virtual event is critical.  We are counting on your partnership in meeting this moment for kids in our community. 


Swim for the Kids!

By sticking with us, you’ll ensure the continued legacy of not only the Peaks to Portland Swim, but also the YMCA programs it supports, like summer camp and after school activities. In fact, because of swimmers like you, 10,000 children learn who they are and what they can achieve each year at the Y. We help kids develop character, confidence, and independence – strengths they need now more than ever.


Helping Children Thrive

Children in our community need the YMCA’s support and consistency now more than ever. Due to the pandemic, many kids are experiencing high levels of stress, food insecurity, and a lack of educational support.

The Y is helping to address this with a focus on hunger relief, ongoing support for children and families, and opportunities like School Age Childcare and Remote Learning Support and Summer Care to support working families and give kids the chance to play, laugh, learn and be just be kids.  

The spirit of the Peaks to Portland – and our collective promise to help our kids grow up healthy, happy and strong -is alive and well.  Thank you for your continued commitment to our children, our Peaks to Portland Swim, and our community.

To learn more about what our virtual event will look like, please visit our FAQs.

Swim for the Cause. Swim for the Community. Swim with the Y.