On Saturday, July 25, some 200 swimmers, accompanied by 100 boats, will swim across Long Island Sound to raise money and support for the thousands of people who are battling cancer and their families.
As the swimmers make their way across the Sound, hundreds of supporters will gather from 2 to 6 p.m. to cheer them on as they make their final approach to Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport. The dockside celebration is free and open to the public.
“There are no words to describe the feeling of being greeted by hundreds as they cheer us for the home stretch,” said Brian Power, a 23-year-old Fairfield native who is swimming the SWIM Marathon for the eighth time.
“Seeing the doctors and nurses and volunteers is incredible but knowing our efforts are supporting all the people the [St. Vincent’s Medical Center] Foundation touches is the reason I do this every year. I wouldn’t miss it — even now that I live in South Carolina.”
Power and his father, Jay, make up the two-person relay Two Powerful team.
The fastest swimmers are expected to start to cross the finish line at approximately 2:30 p.m., depending on the weather. Things will really heat up after 4 p.m. when the bulk of the swimmers will finish.
The welcome at Captain’s Cove, One Bostwick Avenue in the Black Rock neighborhood of Bridgeport, will include music, entertainment, vendor booths and the boardwalk shops and restaurant will be open.
Children may visit the GE Children’s Tent. For a $1 suggested minimum donation per child, they can partake in face painting, arts and crafts, and their choice of ice cream and toppings.
Swimmers from all over the world have participated in the annual SWIM Across the Sound. At 15.5 miles, the SWIM is one of the longest challenges on the World Open Water Swim Association Top 100 list.
The marathon, which begins at West Beach in Port Jefferson, N.Y., and ends at Captain’s Cove, includes solo swimmers, two-person relays, and 4- to 6-member relay teams. Universities and corporations also form relay teams.
Individual swimmers and relay teams raise a specified minimum amount of money in order to participate. Boat captains donate their time and fuel for the day to escort or guide swimmers and other boats in support of the fundraiser.
Net proceeds help individuals and families who are battling cancer.
Swimmers raise money through pledges from friends, families, and businesses to help provide cancer patients and their families with financial support and care for the needs that health insurance does not cover. Many swimmers and boaters choose to participate because cancer has affected their lives, or their family and friends in some way, and they want to help others with the struggles cancer brings.
St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound provides cancer education, screening, and prevention programs at low- or no-cost for the uninsured and underinsured.
In addition, the SWIM helps individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific needs, such as the funding of wigs and prostheses, payment of utilities or rent, medication assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships, support groups and more.
For more information on the SWIM, visit SwimAcrosstheSound.org.