STAMFORD, Conn. -- More than 200 swimmers and close to 100 land volunteers and boaters will make waves to defeat cancer on Saturday, June 25, in the 10th annual Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim.
The event is held on the border of Greenwich and Stamford at 96 Cummings Point Road in Stamford. Taking the plunge for 10 years in a row are several swimmers who have dedicated themselves to the mission of Swim Across America and are proudly swimming in honor of friends and loved ones who have been touched by cancer.
Craig Lawrence of Rye Brook, N.Y., is a 10 year swimmer. This year, he will be challenging himself by swimming 3 miles in the open water. “My sister, Kimberly Lawrence Netter, unfortunately lost her battle with breast cancer in 2001 at the age of 44,” Lawrence said. “She was extraordinary — a remarkable and generous soul who brought people together and was adored by anyone and everyone who ever met her.”
The loss was devastating for his family but inspired Edward and Barbara Netter, Kim’s mother and father-in-law, to establish the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the beneficiary of the funds raised by Greenwich-Stamford Swim Across America.
For Roberta, Jesse, Daniel and Jen Bass, of Greenwich, Swim Across America is a family affair. 2016 will be their 10th year participating in the Greenwich-Stamford swim together — volunteering on the land, kayaking and swimming. Jesse’s mother was told she had cancer on May 11, 2006. "She did what is so often required of all cancer patients. To continue taking care of family, job, mounting medical expenses and the myriad decisions about how to battle the disease,'' Jesse said. "And all the while pushing hard against the fear, anguish, and anxiety of that awful diagnosis."
In the past nine years, the Greenwich-Stamford Swim Across America event has:
- Raised more than $2.8 million to support the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT); 100% of all donations to ACGT go directly to support cancer cell and gene therapy research
- Inspired 1,630 swimmers to swim in Long Island Sound making waves to #defeatcancer
- Included swimmers ages six to 82!
- Had the help of 808 land, beach and sea volunteers
- Swam 2,119.5 total miles
Nationally, Swim Across America has raised more than $60 million in the fight against cancer with swims throughout the United States since its founding in 1987. In Connecticut, the annual Swim Across America event is an open water swim with half-mile, 1.5-mile and 3-mile options. Proceeds of the fundraising efforts support cancer research grants administered by ACGT.
Chairs for this year’s Swim are Michele Graham and Lorrie Lorenz, both mothers of teenage cancer survivors. Lorrie Lorenz’s daughter Brooke is a lymphoma survivor and Michele Graham’s daughter Nicole is a leukemia survivor. Both were diagnosed in high school and went through treatment.
Brooke Lorenz graduated in May 2015 from the University of Colorado at Boulder and will be swimming in the event for her eighth year. Nicole Graham is just finishing her sophomore year at Dartmouth College and will be a land volunteer this year.
Honorary co-chairs of the Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford event are Olympic Gold medalist Donna de Varona and her husband John Pinto, John and Cindy Sites, Mary Henry and Howard Rubin, Arlene and Reuben Mark, and Richards of Greenwich.
Swimmers, boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders and land volunteers interested in participating in the even can register at swimacrossamerica.org/greenwic h. A pool swim is also available. For more information, email email@example.com or call 203-570-9195.