United as One Community 

The last two years have shown just how important community is for our health and wellbeing. With your support, the YMCA continues to provide critical services for children and families, including before and after school care, preschool, day camp and swim lessons. 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 our swim 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 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 event grew over the years to attract swimmers and supporters from around the world. Its legacy of generosity continues now and for years to come.

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 Kids!

By sticking with us, you’ll ensure the continued legacy of not only the swim, but also the YMCA programs it supports, like summer camp and after school activities. In fact, because of swimmers like you, thousands of 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 Summer Camp 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 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.