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Established in 2014, the Marilyn Jetty Swim has become an iconic part of the annual Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic which sees more than 300 South Australians swim or paddle 400 metres around the beautiful Brighton Jetty—dressed head to toe as fabulous 50’s icon Marilyn Monroe.

The event started as a community fundraiser for founding Marilyn Sarah Tinney, but over the past 10 years, it has grown into one of Cancer Council SA’s most unique fundraising events. This year, our Marilyn community is set to make its biggest splash yet, with their goal of raising $185,000 to see their 10-year fundraising total tick over to a massive $1 million!

Every dollar that the amazing Marilyn’s have raised to date has helped fund Cancer Council SA’s vital research, prevention programs and support services, like Cancer Council 13 11 20, for all South Australians impacted by cancer.

For many of our Marilyn’s, the swim is not only a fun way to raise funds for Cancer Council SA, it is a way to honour either their own cancer experience, or that of a loved one. For Penni, Kylie and Kimberley, last year’s swim together as Sammy’s Angels was a way to continue their late sister Sam Smithson’s legacy of supporting South Australians who need it most.

Sam was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer in 2018, and, over four years, the mother of two showed her determination to be there for as long as possible, far exceeding her initial 12-month prognosis. Sadly, Sam passed away in September 2021, which is why her three sisters came together to do the 2022 swim in her honour.

Even throughout her toughest of times, Sam was committed to helping others. Cancer Council SA was her favourite charity to support, and she had done the swim for the past four years, ever since her diagnosis. Each year she would recruit more and more of us to join her because it was so much fun and she wanted to share that with us. It’s been an annual event for a group of us for the last couple of years and we look forward to taking part for many years to come,” Penni says.

We support Cancer Council because they supported Sam and us. There are so many other families out there that need this help too, and we know that Sam would want us to continue to do all we could to help those who need it. Every single Marilyn who takes part is an inspiration and is helping families like ours—so thank you. We feel wonderfully grateful to be able to swim in memory of Sam and to be involved to support other people impacted by cancer, survivors and their carers.”

And, for any prospective Marilyn’s thinking about making their debut splash in 2023, Penni says ‘just do it’.

“I know it might seem daunting, but it really is an incredible event. Be brave, have fun—and you will look amazing in the white togs, I promise!”

So, if you’re thinking about being bold, being brave and being fabulous, sign up today to be a Marilyn. Registrations are now open for the next event which will be held at Brighton Jetty on Sunday 5 February 2023.

Register or donate towards the Marilyn Jetty Swim here and help make the Million Dollar Marilyn’s, possible.