The annual Frogman Swim fundraiser is looking to raise at least $1 million for the Navy SEAL Foundation and Gold Star families in 2023.
The swim, which takes place January 15, is a challenging 3.4-mile swim across the open 55-degree waters of Tampa Bay. It is designed to provide a reminder of the hardships that SEALs endure during their careers.
"The challenge participants will endure during the 2023 Tampa Bay Frogman Swim is nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice our fallen warriors have made, and their Gold Star families endure daily," Chris Kinney, Captain of the Platoon Wave for the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim, said of the event.
"The swim presents a challenging endeavor to provide a small reminder of the hardships endured by our elite and silent warriors while encouraging others to support and donate to the cause," Kinney added.
First launched in 2010 by four SEALs aiming to help a SEAL officer who was recently wounded in Afghanistan, the annual swim has since raised over $6 million in the years since that first swim. The amount of registrants and donations have increased every year.
The swim helps to build national awareness of the Naval Special Warfare community, while funds raised go to the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides continued support to Naval Special Warfare members, veterans, and families.
Dozens of Gold Star families will be represented at the event, while every name of fallen naval special warfare operators since 9/11 will be read aloud in a memorial ceremony before the swim.
Swimmers will set off at 7:40 A.M., while those interested in supporting the event can register as volunteers if they are not able to make the swim.
"We are incredibly honored to have the Frogman Swim here in Tampa Bay," Anna Paulina Luna, a U.S. Air Force veteran who is the U.S. representative-elect for Florida's 13th congressional district, told Fox News Digital. "Here in Pinellas County, we have one of the largest veteran populations in the country. Gold Star families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and we have to take care of them. As a veteran and spouse of a combat wounded veteran, I can tell you that this cause hits close to home for us. Thank you to those who helped organize this event."
Kinney is a 16-year veteran of the SEAL teams that included a stint with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, better known as SEAL Team 6, and participates in the swim in full combat equipment, with body armor, weapon, and a rucksack.
"Over the past thirteen years, the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim has raised over $6 million," Kinney said. "These funds will significantly support our nation's bravest heroes and their families."