This Saturday morning, 160 swimmers and 80 escort boats have taken off from Danford's Marina in New York for the 22nd annual 25K solo swim across the Long Island Sound as part of the St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound.
15 solo swimmers and 26 relay teams of 2-6 swimmers have raised thousands of dollars for St. Vincent's programs. Each relay team is required to raise US$7,500, 2-person relays are required to raise US$3,500 and solo swimmers a minimum of US$1,500.
The SWIM started in 1987, when a lone swimmer named Jeffrey Keith, who had lost part of his leg to cancer, swam across the Long Island Sound with Matthew Vossler and raised US$5,000 for the cancer charity. Since then, the swim has grown into a year-long series of events, which has raised millions of dollars, US$2.65 million in 2008 alone.
Sponsored by St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, the SWIM raises funds to provide financial support and care for the needs that health insurance companies do not cover. The SWIM provides cancer screenings at low- or no-cost to the elderly, underserved and uninsured and helps cancer patients and their families.
Race director Elizabeth Fry says, "This is the first year we’re offering the two-person relay category. Cancer is so prevalent, and I want to help in any way I can. This is a great event, and the swimmers work so hard fundraising for the SWIM. They’re amazing."
The solo swimmers include Bethamy Aronow (43), Jim Barber (49), Tom Coffey (49), Erin Flynn (28), Robert Gary (38), John Gosman (47), Nancy Haynsworth (51), Jan Johnson (54), Jacob Kennedy (29), Kathy Kirmayer (45), Martin McMahon (46), Tina Oakes (47), Sean O'Connor (49), Victoria Rian (42) and Kevin Sherman (44).
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association