Hundreds swim across Sound to fight cancer

Source: The Journal News / Dan Reiner

Nearly 500 swimmers put on their caps and jumped into Long Island Sound on Saturday for Swim Across America’s signature event, which raises money for cancer research.

Swimmers gathered at Larchmont Yacht Club around 7 a.m. and hopped off the docks to embark on the open waters. After swimming distances of either two, five or 10 kilometers, they finished at Larchmont Shore Club to a flood of cheers and cow bells.

“This swim is just incredible in terms of the outpouring of support,” said Mark McCooey, of Rye, who raised the most money any individual swimmer, almost $37,000. “Unfortunately, it also shows how cancer is just so prevalent and it affects so many people’s lives. It’s wonderful to see so much support but it’s sad because more teams means more people are sick.”

Like many of the participants, McCooey, 49, swims in memory of someone close to him. His cousin, Clare Joyce, died of cancer in 1999 — Team Clare was formed the following year.

“It’s a great way to keep Clare in our thoughts and it makes you feel like you’re doing something constructive,” said Dick Davidson, 59, of New Rochelle. He said Team Clare has raised over $1.7 million in his 16 years swimming the event.

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