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In 2020 the women behind the Marilyn Jetty Swim entered the record books, breaking the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Marilyn Monroe in one location. Now they are celebrating another incredible milestone—raising $500,000 for Cancer Council SA.

Established in 2014, the Marilyn Jetty Swim has become an iconic part of the Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic.

It sees more than 200 women (and a few men!) swimming or paddling 400 metres around the Brighton Jetty—all dressed head to toe as ‘50s icon Marilyn Monroe.

Event founder Sarah Tinney and her collection of inspiring Marilyn’s have been donning the blonde Marilyn Monroe wig and bathing suit for the past seven years. They announced their fundraising total this week to coincide with the opening of registrations for the 2021 event.

Sarah said that she is incredibly proud of the half a million-dollar difference that the Marilyn’s have made in the lives of those impacted by cancer.

“When we started the swim nearly eight years ago, I never thought it would become what it is today—it makes me incredibly proud to know how much money we’ve raised to support those impacted by cancer,” she said.

Sarah first began fundraising for Cancer Council SA in 2006 when she found out that her mother, who lived in the US, was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

“I felt helpless because I was so far away, so fundraising was my way to support her from across the globe. After she passed away in 2007, supporting people impacted by cancer became even more important to me,” she said.

Sarah said that the idea for the Marilyn Jetty Swim started as a light-hearted conversation with some of the ladies at her local surf club.

“They knew I was passionate about supporting Cancer Council SA and suggested I take part in the swim all in the name of fundraising,” she said.

“I’m not athletic but agreed to do a swim out to the jetty with a floaty on two conditions—I’d make it comical by dressing like one of the most iconic women to grace our screens and I’d be joined by lookalike decoys so people couldn’t identify me swimming!”

A handshake sealed the deal and the Marilyn Jetty Swim was born

“What started as a simple, fun idea with the local surf club to make a difference has become something that I’m incredibly proud of, led by a sisterhood of inspirational women from all walks of life,” she said.

“And at the heart of every Marilyn is one common drive—to make a difference in the lives of people living with cancer. Almost everyone knows someone impacted by cancer, and the swim is a way for us to turn something negative into something incredibly positive and raise funds that will change the future of cancer,” she said.

Cancer Council SA Community Fundraising Officer Emma McKee said the Marilyn Jetty Swim has become an incredible celebration of sisterhood in action and empowers women (and men!) to make a difference.

“Dressing head to toe as everyone’s favourite 50s icon for the iconic Marilyn Jetty Swim is not only heaps of fun, it’s also one of the most empowering ways you can make a difference to South Australians impacted by cancer,” she said.

“United by a shared cancer experience, the Marilyn’s are a sisterhood of support who are determined to do something positive and make a real difference.”

“The Marilyn Jetty Swim is your chance to be a part of something bold, empowering, and just a little bit bizarre. Because by being a part of the Marilyn experience, you are joining forces with some of the bravest women (and men!) you’ll find—so what are you waiting for!”

The Marilyn Jetty Swim will take place on Sunday 7 February as a part of the Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic.

If you’re bold enough to glam up and support South Australians impacted by cancer, you can register today at the Marilyn Jetty Swim website.