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Hartford HealthCare Takes Swim Across the Sound State-Wide

May 10, 2023

Like many great efforts, what we now know as Swim Across the Sound started small when three Boston College graduates swam across Long Island Sound 35 years ago to raise $5,000 for St. Vincent’s Medical Center cancer patients.

That has grown over the decades into a series of events that now raises more than $1 million annually. This year, Hartford HealthCare is taking the Swim to new levels, inviting colleagues from across the state to participate as swimmers, boaters, medical support or volunteers.

Teams from two of Hartford HealthCare’s five regions have already signed up to dive into the Sound this year. “Code Blue Fish” is the St. Vincent’s emergency department team that has become a fan favorite, and the “ST Elevations” team from Hartford Hospital will participate for the first time in honor of a beloved colleague who lost the battle with cancer.

By taking the event system-wide, Hartford HealthCare makes it possible to raise funds for cancer programs and patient support across the state as participants can designate the money they raise to the region of their choice.

A virtual Swim Across the Sound has also been added in July – a great option for anyone not wishing to battle the harsh elements of Long Island Sound in the open water swim.

Main event

The one-day Swim Across the Sound Marathon sees upwards of 160 swimmers and 120 boaters make the 15.5-mile journey from Whitehall Beach, Port Jefferson, NY, to Captain’s Cove Seaport, Bridgeport. The swim can take anywhere from 5.5 to more than 10 hours to complete.

Spectators come back year after year to watch the swimmers and boaters. But, what motivates those taking to the water? Their stories give great perspective on what Swim Across the Sound means.

> Related: A Sound Connection: Boat Captain Rick Belenchia

> Related: Former Army Swimmer on a Personal Mission to Help Others

Helping cancer patients

Those benefitting from the proceeds raised through Swim Across the Sound are grateful for these swimmers and boaters, too. Many find that cancer is only one challenge in their lives. Imagine being the family’s sole provider while struggling with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Or consider the 13-year-old girl whose mother and father are both battling cancer.

Swim Across the Sound has been there for these families and others.

“As a cancer fighter, I wake up each day to not only struggle with the physical and psychological issues that come with treatment, but also the constant worry for my family and the financial burden this is having on all of us. I can’t put into words the impact this support has had on my life and how grateful I am. Because of Swim Across the Sound, I can concentrate on just continuing to fight for myself – and for my family.”

Celebrating 36 years

Everyone is invited to join the fun on July 29, 2023, at Captain’s Cove, One Bostwick Ave., Bridgeport, for the 36th Swim and cheer on the swimmers as they cross the finish line. The area is alive with music, entertainment and children’s activities, and the boardwalk shops and restaurant will be open. Swimmers start to finish about 2:30 p.m., and continue until 6:30 p.m. An awards ceremony takes place shortly after all swimmers have arrived.

Get in on the swim!