That Dam Swim raises funds for women with cancer at Fontana Lake Sept. 8

Press release from The Hope Chest for Women:

They’re back for a fifth year! On Sept. 8, 2018, Jim Cottam, Steve Bradshaw, and Marty Moran will swim the 18+ mile length of Lake Fontana while Chris Lechner traverses the lake on stand-up paddle board. These intrepid men are returning to Lake Fontana to raise money and awareness for The Hope Chest for Women, a local nonprofit that provides medical and nonmedical bill pay assistance to women with breast and gynecologic cancer.


That Dam Swim offers non-swimmers the opportunity to contribute through raising funds on their website: and through the event’s Facebook page: Over the past four years, Jim Cottam, Chris Lechner, and their friends have raised approximately $30,000 to help The Hope Chest help women in WNC. This year, a portion of donations will also benefit the UNCA women’s swim team.

For more information, contact Pat Hock at or 828-708-3017.

Participant Details

Jim Cottam sells supplemental insurance policies for Mutual of Omaha and coaches the T.C. Roberson High School swim team. Cottam, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, says his reason for continuing That Dam Swim in 2018 is to “support a great charity that supports women in their battle against cancer.” He also cites That Dam Swim as being, “our little way of giving back to the community.”

Chris Lechner, a local hand surgeon who swam across Lake Michigan in 2015 and who goes on many stand-up paddle board adventures, is participating because he enjoys, “the camaraderie and tradition of swimming and paddling across Lake Fontana for a good cause.” He says, “Hope Chest brings us together to provide encouragement and support to women and their families dealing with cancer.

Steve Bradshaw, a local business owner and Masters swimmer, stated, “Over the years, I’ve admired Jim’s success in raising money to support women who are fighting cancer. Like many families, we’ve had too many loved ones inflicted with this terrible disease.” Steve is swimming this year to honor his brother’s wife, Li.

Marty Moran, a local entrepreneur, swim enthusiast, and UNCA swim team volunteer assistant coach got involved because he believes many Olympic sports are underfunded and because, “while an 18-mile swim is incredibly challenging, it is nothing compared to the physical, mental, and financial impact that cancer can have on a woman and her family.”

About That Dam Swim:

That Dam Swim was created by Jim Cottam and Chris Lechner in 2014 when the two were driving past Lake Fontana and wondered if they had what it took to swim the length of the lake. When they decided to attempt this feat, they knew they wanted to use the experience to raise money for a worthy cause. They selected The Hope Chest as a recipient for their fundraising because of Debbie Cottam’s status as a breast cancer survivor and because Jim’s friend founded The Hope Chest.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.