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Swim Across America Making Waves Fighting Cancer

The Debbie Nigro Show

Release Date: 04/20/2022

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Matt Vossler Co-Founder 'Swim Across America' joins me to celebrate 35 years of making waves fighting cancer. And we're talkin big kahuna waves! 

This year there will be 24 events across the country expected to raise 10M which will bring the total dollars raised by this charity for cancer research rockstars close to 120M! Matt says, it's been  incredibly impactful and effective fund raising.

Swim Across America is a national organization with 24 open water swims from Boston Harbor to under the Golden Gate Bridge, and more than 100 pool swim fundraisers across the country. It's roots are firmly anchored in Connecticut and along the shores of Long Island Sound. The 16th annual Swim Across America Fairfield County open water swim is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Matt Vossler is from Darien, CT. and he and his lifelong friend and college roommate Jeff Keith, who lost part of his leg to bone cancer as a teen, founded Swim Across America in 1987.

These two guys along with their other buddy Hugh Curran, graduated college, put their careers on hold, and physically 'ran' clear across the country fundraising for cancer. The 'swim' version of their efforts was only sparked when they got to the California Coast and ran out of 'land' Matt said. 

'Swim Across America' didn't exactly start out as smooth sailing. Matt shared that at their very first event in 1987 on the Long Island Sound in NY during a fundraising swim from Port Jefferson to Fairfeld Beach, their boat actually sank. OMG. If that didnt stop them...it didn't.

Swim Across America is built on a fundamental value that money raised in a community, stays in that community. This value creates a grassroots community feel for each of our charity swims,” said Matt Vossler. “Each charity swim is partnered with an academic or research hospital within the community that serves as the beneficiary.

Stamford-based Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy is the local beneficiary in Fairfield County, CT.

What isn’t limited to geography is the innovation and collaboration to fighting cancer.

Swim Across America has already granted $100M and been a major funder in the advancement of immunotherapy, personalized medicine, gene sequencing, detection and patient programs such as adolescent and youth survivorship.”

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On Saturday, April 23rd, Elizabeth Beisel, a four-time Olympic gold and bronze medalist, 2016 Team USA captain, and world record holder for the first woman to successfully swim from mainland Rhode Island to Block Island, along with Craig Beardsley, a world record holder in the 200-meter butterfly and a former member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, will be visiting the Darien, CT YMCA. They will hold a swim clinic with the Darien Y’s Piranha swim team from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and then participate in a Meet-and-Greet with the public from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Meet-and-Greet is free and open to the public.

Something tells me after you listen to this podcast conversation with Swim Across America Co-Founder Matt Vossler, you'll want to jump in and help.  Incredibly inspiring.