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Save the Date June 29, 2024
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Black Tie International Magazine:
18th Annual Swim Across America Fairfield County
 


 

Photo credit: Cheryl Moss Photography

 

18th Annual Swim Across America Fairfield County is June 29th – NEW this year is a Kids’ Splash and High School Cup Challenge

Swimmers, Land and Water Volunteers Make Waves to Fight Cancer


 

Swim Across America - Fairfield County is holding its 18th annual open water swim on Saturday, June 29, 2024, and has some exciting additions this year - including a NEW Kids’ Splash for children up to 11 years old (children younger than 6 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian), and a High School Cup Challenge for all Fairfield County area high school swim, dive and water polo teams to compete against each other. These are part of the open water swim that includes three swim lengths for ages 12-84: a half-mile swim, a 1.5-mile swim and a 3-mile swim. Hundreds of swimmers, land and water volunteers participate each year and support the swim’s local beneficiary, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), which is headquartered where the swim is held on the border of Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut. Swimmers, boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders and land volunteers are all encouraged to register for one of the most inspirational events of the year! To register as a swimmer or a volunteer, visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.


 

“We are very excited to expand our event to include younger swimmers in the community with the addition of the Kids’ Splash and High Schol Cup Challenge to our annual open water swim,” said Nancy Carr, event director of Swim Across America - Fairfield County. “The fun Kids’ ‘Splash’ offers younger swimmers and non-swimmers and their parents an opportunity to participate in addition to being there to cheer on family and friends who also swim or volunteer. We’ll have a giant floatie in the cove for the younger swimmers to swim or splash out to. Parents and caregivers are welcome to join. Each participant will receive a Swim Across America t-shirt and towel. It’s going to be so fun!”


 

Also new this year is a High School Cup Challenge for all Fairfield County high school swim, dive and water polo teams to compete against each other in fundraising. Spearheaded by Marjorie Trifone, Darien High School’s swim and dive coach and longtime Swim Across America - Fairfield County participant, the challenge encourages high school teams to join and fundraise together and offers bonuses for school teams that raise the most for cancer research. The first three teams to reach $3,000 in their fundraising get a $2,500 bonus thanks to a generous benefactor. The top fundraising high school team wins the High School Cup trophy to display at their school!


 

“High school students have historically been a big part of our swim event,” noted Nancy Carr. “In fact, one of our largest teams, Team Julian, is made up of current and past local area students. We also have our Junior Advisory Board with a dozen area high school students and we wanted to do something special for their dedication and hard work. The High School Cup Challenge is a way to reward the teens for their fundraising for an important cause. We hope the reward of the trophy they get to keep in their school trophy case and the bragging rights to being the  champion will encourage more teams to get involved and inspire more students to come back year-after-year.”


 

Why does Swim Across America Fairfield County swim to raise money in the fight against cancer? Cancer sadly touches everyone — whether it is a loved one or a friend, everyone knows someone who has been impacted by cancer. In 2024, For the first time ever, the United States is expected to surpass more than 2 million new cases of cancer and 611,720 cancer deaths. These staggering statistics offer compelling proof of the need to continue devising new approaches to treatment. In fact, there are more than 18 million Americans with a history of invasive cancer who are alive today, who were diagnosed many years ago or now have no current evidence of the disease, thanks to new treatments. Whether it is through swimming, volunteering, donating or cheering on loved ones and friends, Swim Across America - Fairfield County welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of the fight against cancer. 


 

“The Swim Across America - Fairfield County open water swim is truly one of the most inspiring events our community will ever experience,” said Nancy Carr. “The gathering of so many families and so many individuals who are honoring those who have been touched by cancer is incredible — whether they are currently battling it out, are survivors or have lost someone. To hear the stories and to learn about those whom cancer has touched and to experience that love is just incredible. The feeling of wanting to make a difference and to do something for those who have experienced cancer is huge.”


 

Currently, Swim Across America – Fairfield County is helping to fund two ACGT research fellows: Juan Fueyo, MD, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for brain cancer, and Brian Brown, PhD, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for lung and ovarian cancers. A third researcher and new ACGT research fellow, E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who is working on glioblastoma, will be added with the funding from the 2024 swim.

“We are very excited to be supporting these three amazing cancer scientists, including the newest ACGT research fellow Dr. Chiocca from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital,” noted Nancy Carr. “ACGT and Swim Across America funding will help Dr. Chiocca conduct a clinical trial using an oncolytic virus therapy for glioblastoma.”

Swim Across America is a national organization and offers open water and pool swims in 24 communities, from Boston Harbor to under the Golden Gate Bridge, but its roots are firmly anchored along the shores of Connecticut. Darien, Connecticut, resident Matt Vossler founded Swim Across America in 1987 with the first swimming event in Long Island Sound after supporting his college roommate and cancer survivor Jeff Keith with a run across America. 


 

Throughout its 37 years, Swim Across America has raised more than $100 million in the fight against cancer. More than 150 Olympians support Swim Across America, including Michael Phelps, Craig Beardsley (who was inducted into the International Swimmer’s Hall of Fame in 2022), Donna de Varona (a Greenwich resident and honorary Fairfield County co-chair), Rowdy Gaines, Janel Jorgensen McArdle (who grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut), Bobby Hackett, Ryan Lochte, Glenn Mills, Cristina Teuscher (who participates in the Fairfield County event), Missy Franklin, and many more. 


 

Swim Across America’s funding of clinical trials on a national level has helped contribute to four FDA approved life-saving immunotherapy cancer treatments: Yervoy, Opdivo, Tecentriq and Keytruda. Recently, the very exciting news about a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering was published in The New England Journal of Medicine that showed a 100 percent success rate in treating patients in a phase 2 clinical trial for advanced rectal cancer with dostarlimab, an immunotherapy treatment. The clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering was funded by early-stage grant funding from Swim Across America.


 

To learn more about Swim Across America Fairfield County or to register to swim, volunteer or donate, visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.


 

About Swim Across America

Swim Across America, Inc. (SAA) is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, Swim Across America is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service. To learn more visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc or follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SAAFairfieldCo or email nancycarr@swimacrossamerica.org.

 

 
gerard Mc Keon

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