Swim Across America Fairfield County Raises $475,000 for Cancer Research

Swim Across America Fairfield County Raises $475,000 for Cancer Research

The waters off Stamford’s shore were full of purpose on June 29, 2024. Hundreds of swimmers gathered there for the 18th annual Swim Across America – Fairfield County open water swim. Participants swam distances ranging from 1/2-mile to 3-miles, all driven by a shared mission: to support cancer research.

The event has a new feature the year called the “Queen Willa” Kids’ Splash. Enthusiastic children under 11 rallied around five-year-old Willa Kosh. Willa is battling pediatric leukemia.

Olympians Cristina Tuescher, Donna de Varona and Janel Jorgensen McArdle were at the event. Olympic gold medalist Donna de Varona, known as the “Olympic WaveMaker,” received recognition at the event, along with her husband John Pinto. Both have served as honorary co-chairs since the swim’s start.

The event raised $475,000 for the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT). ACGT is a Stamford-based organization. Over the past 18 years, Swim Across America – Fairfield County has given over $5.7 million to ACGT. This money funds innovative cancer research and treatments.

“Swim Across America was founded in 1987 by Darien resident Matt Vossler and held its first open water event in Long Island Sound. Since that time, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $100 million to fight cancer. In its 37 years of “making waves to fight cancer,” more than 100,000 swimmers and 150 Olympians have swum the circumference of the earth three times, uniting a movement to fight cancer that has created a groundswell of support spanning all generations.”

Since its first swim in Long Island Sound, the organization has expanded to 24 communities across the country. It hosts both open water and pool swims. These events fund cancer research, detection, and patient programs.

There is still time to get involved with Swim Across America this summer by donating or participating in a pool swim, with several planned for later this summer at Fairfield County area clubs. To learn more about Swim Across America – Fairfield County visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.

Photo credits: Swim Across America Facebook

WOWSA