UPDATE ON JANUARY 15, 2021: The One Hour Swim will be happening this winter! We received guidance directly from USMS to hold the One Hour Swim virtually. This guidance is available on the USMS website here. We will kick off this year’s fundraising drive during our Virtual Town Hall on Monday, January 25 starting at 6:30pm. We look forward to seeing everyone there! General information about last year’s fundraising drive is provided below.

UPDATE AS OF JULY 15, 2020: Since bars and restaurants in New York City are still closed to large groups and indoor events, we did our charity raffle drawing virtually for the two-roundtrip JetBlue tickets. Congratulations to Nora Vanni, the winner of two round-trip JetBlue tickets in our One-Hour Swim raffle! Nora was one of nearly 300 donors to this year’s One-Hour Swim. We raised over $20,000 this past winter for our OHS beneficiaries, the Alliance for Positive Change and the New York LGBT Bar Association. We are grateful to everyone who made One Hour Swim such a success! The following teammates raised over $1,000: Randy Chamberlain, Scott Kohanowski, Amanda Eckler, Amelia Possanza, Jess Jiang, Kristina Saxena, Tom Gelinne, and Nathan Burstein. Special thank you to Nathan Burnstein and David Hovey, our OHS Organizing Committee Co-Chairs, and Fabian Sommer, who donated the Jet Blue tickets for our charity raffle. We look forward raising money for our community during our next One Hour Swim fundraising drive in winter 2020-2021!

What Is the one hour swim?

Every winter for the past 30 years, we participate in the USMS ePostal National One Hour Swim Challenge (OHS). We use the challenge as a fundraiser to raise money for community organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community. Not only do we challenge ourselves to see how far we can swim in an hour, we also get pledges and donations for causes that matter. We first participated in OHS as team in 1990 during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the money raised was used to pay medical bills for members of our team fighting the epidemic. Nowadays, we donate the proceeds to LGBTQ+ community organizations. Past beneficiaries have included the AIDS Service Center (now the Alliance for Positive Change), the Ali Forney Center, SAGE, and other important community organizations.


Registration for 2020 OHS was open from December 2019 to February 2020 on ClubAssistant. You can swim as an individual or as part of a relay with friends. Note for relay sign-ups: each group requires a captain who indicates during registration that they’re the captain. After that is done, the other team members can sign up, selecting “Relay Signup [date of event] (other than captains) ALL HEATS” to register, and indicating who their captain is. Failure to sign up in this manner can cause significant delays at the event.


We are incredibly excited to raffle off a pair of free tickets on JetBlue as part of the fundraiser. The money goes to the two wonderful LGBTQ+ causes described below; you get a raffle ticket for every $50 you fundraise or donate. Your friends and family get a raffle ticket for every $50 they donate, too. The JetBlue tickets are for any destination the airline serves, and will be available for use starting one to two months after OHS.

Our Beneficiaries

Our 2020 beneficiaries will be the The Alliance for Positive Change & the LGBT Bar Association!

The Alliance for Positive Change, formerly the AIDS Service Center NYC, helps New Yorkers living with HIV and other chronic health conditions get the medical care, peer support, and housing assistance they need to achieve health, happiness, and stability.

The New York LGBT Bar Association provides free legal services to more than 1,000 low-income and vulnerable LGBTQ+ New Yorkers annually, with clients ranging from homeless youth to senior citizens on issues including housing, employment, discrimination, family law, and more.

Supporting the Cause & FUNDRAISING

In 2018 and 2019, TNYA raised more than $40,000 from hundreds of donors. We strongly encourage participants to bring in at least $100 in donations, or contributions of any amount from at least five people. Here are two easy and effective ways to fundraise:

  1. On the TNYA’s MightyCause fundraiser page, click “Join This Event” to create your own fundraising page (you can personalize the standard language provided). It’s a fast, easy way to share information about OHS, and it gives donors a quick way to donate online. Add a picture or video for better result$$$!
  2. E-mail friends and loved ones with a pitch. Here is a sample pitch letter that you should feel free to adapt and share with everyone you know.

We also need volunteers to help run this event! We will be providing more information about volunteer opportunities soon. We are currently searching for an Assistant Director for the OHS now. If you are interested in volunteering to serve as Assistant Director, please contact David Hovey and Nathan Burstein at: ohs@tnya.org

Thank you for participating, fundraising and volunteering! We could not make the OHS a success without you! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact David Hovey and Nathan Burstein at: ohs@tnya.org

OHS 2020 is a TNYA30 event. For information about other TNYA30 events, visit our TNYA30 page.