How the SWIM Raises Funds
The SWIM Marathon is one of the region's most exciting and compelling athletic events. The Marathon involves amateur solo swimmers and relay teams, swimming 25 kilometers from Port Jefferson, Long Island to Captain's Cove in Bridgeport. The swimmers raise pledges to help cancer patients and their families deal with real-life issues. The SWIM raised a total of $5,000 in its first year. Since then, the SWIM has grown dramatically, raising $2.6 million in 2008 and helping more than 20,000 individuals annually.
The SWIM was inspired by people whose lives had been touched by cancer and who were determined to turn that experience into positive, proactive steps to help others. What began as the SWIM Across the Sound Marathon event in 1987 has developed and grown over the years into more than 35 events annually to raise funds for cancer screening, prevention programs and to assist cancer patients and their families with needs not covered by insurance.
While the SWIM Marathon is the marquee event, the SWIM also raises funds throughout the year by holding events such as the Breast Cancer Luncheon, the Sikorsky-SWIM Walk/Run and the Prostate Cancer Celebrity Dinner. Wherever possible, the SWIM covers costs and expenses of events through corporate sponsorships, and staff overhead is covered by the St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation. In addition to events, the SWIM is also responsible for such programs as Teen SmokeStoppers, which has reached more than 100,000 Connecticut students; free monthly prostate cancer screenings; the SWIM Prostate Cancer Buddy Network; the SWIM Cancer Boutique and the SWIM Mobile Mammography program.
Everyone knows someone whose life has been changed by cancer, and through the SWIM everyone can help. Cancer prevention and early detection (when cancer is most curable) provide the best opportunities to impact the greatest number of people with the funds raised. None of the SWIM's success would be possible without the special volunteers, donors and supporters who provide assistance.