Quinnipiac volunteers can join Hartford HealthCare’s virtual swim challenge

June 14, 2023

A man swims in a pool.

To help Hartford HealthCare turn the tide against cancer, Quinnipiac volunteers can join the swim virtual challenge of the 36th annual Swim Across the Sound.

From July 1 through July 28, instead of making a 15.5 mile open-water swim across Long Island Sound, virtual swim challenge participants can join the effort by logging 15.5 miles of walking, biking, hiking or other beneficial activity. All donation dollars raised by swim virtual challenge participants will directly support critical programs and financial assistance provided to regional oncology patients.

Register for the virtual challenge.

“The virtual challenge allows people to fundraise in their region and get moving however they feel comfortable. It’s supporting their own mental health and wellbeing and raising money for something we deeply believe in,” said Alyssa Amaturo, Swim Across the Sound corporations and foundations associate director.

Hartford HealthCare’s system of hospitals includes St. Vincent’s Medical Center, which founded Swim Across the Sound nearly 40 years ago.

“Every year, the swim has gathered solo swimmers and relay teams for a 15.5 mile open-water swim that starts in Port Jefferson, Long Island and finishes in Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport. On the day of the swim, the community and public come out to Captain’s Cove to celebrate and cheer them on,” said Amaturo.

This year’s Swim Across the Sound will take place on Saturday, July 29. At the event, the top swim virtual challenge fundraising team and fundraising individual will be recognized, and those who have raised $100 or more by July 28 will receive a special Swim Across the Sound T-shirt.

The swim was established to provide direct assistance to local oncology patients living in the Bridgeport and Fairfield areas, regardless of whether they were receiving care at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Thanks to Hartford HealthCare, the impact of Swim Across the Sound has now spread to assist other oncology patients across the state, said Amaturo.

“Hartford HealthCare has seen the power of the swim and has seen the difference that it makes on an individual basis. Now, every hospital within Hartford HealthCare is doing their own fundraising, in their own region, to support local cancer patients. Last year alone, we gave out $620,000 in financial assistance. That’s up almost 25% over any other year, so the need is great. That’s why we’re so excited about the virtual swim challenge,” said Amaturo.

Swim Across the Sound volunteer coordinator Tara Flynn hopes to see many Quinnipiac community members join in the virtual swim challenge. She’s also looking forward to fostering additional volunteer connections through the University’s dynamic partnership with Hartford HealthCare.

“The virtual swim challenge’s month for activity is July, but we fundraise all year. So, if a group on campus wants to have a Polar Bear Plunge to raise money in January; or a walk in the fall, we can help them to organize it as a Swim Across the Sound event,” said Flynn. “Cancer patients need support every day, not just the summer season. If there’s any time of year someone wants to get involved and help, we’ll be there to support them.”

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