On Aug. 3, an open-water swim was held at Morgan Memorial Park in Glen Cove. The swim was held by Swim Across America’s (SAA) Long Island Sound Chapter. Swim Across America is a nonprofit organization that is “dedicated to raising funds for cutting-edge cancer research and prevention programs through open-water and pool swims.”
Participators in the event ranged in age from 8 to 80 and were given the option to choose the distance for the non-competitive swim; .5 mile, 1 mile, 5K, 10k or family fun swim. Each distance had a minimum fundraising level the swimmer must meet. Since 2001, SAA Nassau and Suffolk events have raised more than $9.4 million in support of its beneficiaries. So far this year, the Nassau and Suffolk SAA has raised 96 percent of their goal with a total of $481,793 raised so far. The top team performer was Team Stacey having raised $264,057 for the cause. Team Stacey was created in memory of Stacey Rose Leondis who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and passed away at the age of 23. Since 2009, Team Stacey has raised more than $1,143,000 for cancer research, treatment and prevention.
“We swim, volunteer, kayak for Stacey and for so many families and friends who have and are battling cancer,” the SAA website stated.
In attendance was Craig Russell Beardsley, a New York native, who was a former competition swimmer. In the 1980s Beardsley was a world record holder for the 200-meter butterfly for three years. Beardsley qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, but did not compete because of the boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympic Games.
In our lifetime, one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer.
All proceeds from the swim supported immunotherapy research at the SAA Laboratory at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, lung cancer clinical trials at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, pediatric brain cancer research at the Feinstein Institute of North Shore and pediatric oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.
For more information about Swim Across America, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org.
—Additional information provided by Swim Across America