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35th Annual Swim Across the Sound Honors Lives Impacted by Cancer

August 12, 2022

Despite the record-high heat, the sea was calm for the 108 swimmers during the 35th Annual St. Vincent’s Medical Center Swim Across the Sound marathon on August 6. Protected by a fleet of 80 escort boats, 4 kayaks, 3 jet skis and 20 law enforcement boats, solo and relay swimmers made the 15.5-mile trek from Port Jefferson, NY to Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport. The funds raised from Swim Across the Sound provides financial assistance to area cancer patients and their families. “Every swimmer has a story of why they are swimming,” said Bill Jennings, president of Hartford HealthCare’s Fairfield Region. “A byproduct is the funds they are raising, but they are swimming in memory or in honor of someone affected by cancer. It is a truly community experience.” Nikko Price of Branford was the first swimmer to cross the finish line in just over seven hours. Now in his third year competing as a solo swimmer, he competes in memory of his uncle who passed earlier this year. “He was an avid swimmer, he swam every day of his life and we bonded over swimming. It meant a lot to swim for him,” Price said. “It’s the greatest, most selfless people who do this event every year and I am really proud to take part in it again.” The six-member teenage crew “The Floppers” from Southington were the first relay team to cross the finish line. The Floppers swam in memory of their former swim coach who died from breast cancer. Other swimmers included:

“All too often, getting sick with cancer also means financial hardship,” said Anthony Cernera, director of philanthropy for St. Vincent’s. “Funds raised from the Swim benefit not only St. Vincent’s cancer patients but anyone who lives in the greater Bridgeport area to pay for things that insurance might not cover.” A financial assistance program helps approximately 300 families every year pay for necessities such as food, mortgage or rent.