LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Hundreds of swimmers from Westchester County and the New York metropolitan area will board boats and head out into the Long Island Sound Saturday morning, where they will dive into the water and swim to shore at the Larchmont Yacht Club in the 20th anniversary Swim Across America-Long Island Sound fundraiser to fight cancer.
The Sound Swim is the highlight event in a series of local pool swims that have raised thousands of dollars already this summer. Swim Across America volunteers have done thousands of laps at Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains, Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Club, Lakeside Club in North Salem and Orienta Beach Club in Mamaroneck, and next week Lake Isle Country Club will join the effort. Many of the pool swimmers will also be challenging the Sound at lengths of one, four and six miles.
Scarsdale's Stephen Lambert was one of the long-distance swimmers last year. His annual commitment exemplifies the hundreds of swimmers who join teams dedicated to those who have struggled with cancer.
“The first year I did a mile, last year four, and next year I want to do six,” Lambert said after completing his four-mile swim last year. "I guess what motivates is that we always have the issue of cancer. Everybody’s touched by it. It’s a good cause – for me it’s more about life. It‘s great to be alive, here with family and friends all together doing something positive."
The Long Island Sound Swim started in Larchmont in 1992 at the Larchmont Yacht Club with a four-mile swim. It is dedicated to the memory of Kathy Webers, who along with family and friends courageously battled cancer for more than a year. The 1992 swim had 35 swimmers and raised $15,000. The 2010 swim had 600 swimmers and raised more than $1,027,000.
Swim Across America has raised more than $12 million over 20 years – $1.2 million last year at Long Island Sound and area pool swims.
Proceeds from the swims go to the Cancer Support Team serving lower Westchester, the Tommy Palazzo Fellowship at Columbia University, the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the DeMatteo Research and Swim Across America Laboratories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.