CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — The Chappaqua Swim & Tennis Club hosted its first pool swim for Swim Across America Long Island Sound Sunday morning, one in a series of nine events presented this summer by the Westchester-based branch of the cancer research nonprofit.
As of Sunday morning, team captain Dan Levy, head swim coach at Chappaqua Swimming & Tennis, reported that his fundraising team, Team Karen and David, had raised $23,282 through donations and swimmer sponsors, surpassing their goal of $12,000.
Levy started Team Karen and David in 2010 to honor his sister Karen Levy, who was a championship-winning swimmer when she was young and died of colon cancer in 2008.
David Simon was the husband of previous Club President Judy Simon, who died of kidney cancer in 2007. His children Molly and Henry started swimming with Levy when they were very young and went on to be work as instructors at the club.
Last year, Team Karen and David raised $11,000 while participating in the Swim Across America event at Orienta Beach Club Pool in Mamaroneck, which inspired Levy to put together a committee to organize Chappaqua Swim & Tennis’s first Swim Across America home event.
The 54 swimmers who participated in the event Sunday had the option to swim a half-mile or a mile (33 and 66 laps across a standard pool respectively).
Swim organizer Jim Smith, said a lot of the swimmers and organizers know each other from attending the same events; the people involved make up a friendly, involved and interconnected group.
"That’s why we can raise $1.2 million," he said, referring to Swim Across America Long Island Sound's grand total last year.
Bobby Hackett, 1976 Montreal Olympics silver medalist in the 1,500 meters, was present at the event on Sunday to teach a stroke technique clinic. A Katonah resident, he helps coach the USS swim team at the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco.
"I know enough people who’ve had cancer. I think everybody does, unfortunately," he said, mentioning his father, his father-in-law and sister-in-law.
All money raised by the event goes toward cancer research at the Swim Across America Laboratory and DeMatteo Research laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cancer Support Team serving Westchester County, Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian at Columbia University Medical Center.