29th annual Swim Across America event comes to the Long Island Sound
Swimmers from across the U.S. jumped into the Long Island Sound Saturday for a good cause.
It was all part of the 29th annual Swim Across America.
Just three years ago, Vicki Bunke, of Atlanta, Georgia had no idea how to swim, but all that changed after the most devastating news of her life.
"Tomorrow marks the seventh year to the day in which, unfortunately, we heard those words nobody wants to hear is, 'Your child has cancer,'" Bunke recalled.
In 2018, Bunke's 14-year-old daughter Grace, died from the disease.
That's when Bunke said she found swimming. She, along with Grace's oncologist, are swimming in 14 Swim Across America events — one for every year Grace was alive.
"We're excited to be here. I'm swimming in Long Island Sound swim for the fourth stop," Bunke said.
Much like Bunke, everyone at the 29th annual Swim Across America event in Larchmont had been impacted by cancer. That's why Swim Across America founder Frank Webers started the event back in 1992 after losing his wife to cancer.
"My wife passed away 29 years ago from cancer and two lifeguards, Josh and Jeremy at the Larchmont club, approached me in June of that year and said can 'we’d like to do a swim to raise money for cancer research,' And the rest was history," Webers said.
Since then, the event, which features a 2K, 5K and 10K swim across the Long Island Sound has spread nationwide and has gone on to raise over $20 million to help fund cancer research and care.
"If we can learn to swim and come out in these open water events, I promise you anyone can," Bunke said.