SCARBOROUGH — The C-U Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge — presented by Town & Country Federal Credit Union — is happening this year, but with a twist due to the pandemic.

This year’s event will be a virtual three-on-three, co-ed, free throw competition that will occur over a four-week period, with teams eliminated each week. An adult division and three junior divisions are available. The tournament starts Monday, April 12, and ends Saturday, May 8.

This year marks the 27th annual event, building upon its previous distinction as Maine’s longest, continuous-running, charity basketball tournament of its kind. Normally, the in-person event features hundreds of participants gathering each winter at USM in Gorham.

“Unfortunately, health concerns and protocols regarding in-person events prevent this year’s Swish-Out from happening in person in its usual format. However, the reality is the need to raise funds for children with cancer and their families is still very much needed. As a result, we decided to hold the Swish-Out, but it looks a little different this year. We promise it will still be fun and continue the long tradition of raising funds for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program,” said Jon Paradise, tournament founder and the senior vice president of communications, marketing and community outreach for Town & Country FCU, according to a news release from the credit union.

The format of this year’s event will be a weekly free throw competition where three participants (one has to be a member of the opposite sex) form a team, and each participants take 50 free throws. The free throws can be taken from anywhere (indoor or outdoor) that has a regulation free-throw line or a close facsimile, and do not have to be taken at the same time. The collective total from the team is reported each week.

The 25% of teams in each division with the lowest total will be eliminated, while the remainder will move on to the next week. There will be weekly winners of gift cards, and the top three teams in each division at the end of the four-week competition will win prizes. Every participant receives a t-shirt just for registering.

There is one adult division, and three junior divisions — high school; seventh/eighth grade; and fifth/sixth grade. There is a $75 flat entry fee for each team, but participants can raise additional funds online.

Registration for this year’s event is open and online at events.mmc.org/swishout21. For more information, call or text Paradise at 207-653-2309 or email [email protected]. Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Since it started in 1994, the tournament has raised $525,000 for children with cancer and their families. All money raised through registration, sponsorships and contributions goes directly to the cause.

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