SCARBOROUGH — The C-U Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, presented by Town & Country FCU, is in full pursuit of teams to participate in this year’s tournament. This year marks the 26th annual event, building upon its previous distinction as Maine’s longest, continuous-running, 3-on-3, co-ed, charity basketball tournament, according to a Town & Country press release. The event takes place on Sunday, March 8, at the  University of Southern Maine in Gorham, and features adult and youth divisions including a new High School Division.

“Over the next few weeks, we’re really focused on getting more teams registered in all of the divisions. There are three adult divisions (Elite, Just For Fun — our most popular, and Forever Young — for those age 40 and over) and three junior divisions (fifth/sixth grade, middle school, and a new high school division). It only takes three players to get a team together, as long as one of them is a member of the opposite sex,” said Jon Paradise, vice president of Public Relations and Communications at Town & Country FCU, and the founder of the tournament. Paradise said registration is off to a solid start but he’s hoping to see an influx of registrations in the next few weeks. The deadline for team registrations is Sunday, March 1.

“This event continues to grow and happen because of the great support of sponsors and participants. I am hopeful that this will be another special year of support. We have had teams come from all over Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A team can be whatever people want it to be — co-workers, relatives, friends, classmates, etc. It’s a great team-building event so we get a number of businesses involved,” he added.

The Swish-Out began in 1994 and had seven teams and raised $575 the first year. Last year, the tournament had nearly 60 teams (a sold-out field) participate and, most importantly, raised nearly $50,000 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Since it started, the tournament has raised $525,000 for children with cancer and their families.

One hundred percent of all money raised through registration, sponsorships and contributions will go directly to the cause.

To register a team or to for more information, email; call 207.553.5335; or go to the Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge page on Facebook.

“This event happens because of people, so we want to get a full field of teams again this year,” Paradise said.

The event is presented by Town & Country FCU, with additional major sponsorship support from Tyler Technologies, PCH Media, WEX, Next Level Solutions, M.R. Brewer, Bancvue, Enterprise, Tricorp FCU, Hannaford Supermarkets, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Risbara Bros. Construction, Martin’s Point Healthcare and USM Athletics.

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