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Larchmont Families To Fight Cancer With Sound Swim

Correction: Swim Across America's Long Island Swim will take place on Saturday, July 28.  On Saturday, July 21, the Orienta Beach Club in Mamaroneck will be hosting a pool swim, which will also raise money for Swim Across America's cancer research and prevention funds.  More information can be found on  the program's website .

LARCHMONT, N.Y. - Susie Joyce and her friends, sisters Betty Scanlon and Kate Spader, as well as numerous other Larchmont residents, are getting ready and gearing up for Swim Across America’s 20th annual Long Island Sound Swim.

Each of the three women have been participating in the event for more than a decade, either swimming or boating alongside the swimmers, and are more than thrilled to see how much it has grown over the years.

“It’s a phenomenal event and I can’t tell you how heartwarming it is,” said Scanlon, co-owner of Stitch-by-Stich in Larchmont.

Swim Across America, Inc. is a nationwide organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events.

Some of their major events include swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge, in Boston Harbor and the Long Island Sound. But Swim Across America also sponsors pool swims in local communities, such as Orienta Beach Club Pool in Mamaroneck and other pools in Westchester county.

“Everybody is touched by cancer in one way or another and it allows us to raise awareness in a way that we love,” said Spader. “It becomes a huge family event. There’s a tremendous amount of family participation.”

Spader had four children who participate in the event, and Scanlon has three who participate in some of the local pool swims, as well as the big Long Island Sound Swim.  Joyce swims with her son and her niece in the sound. Each of them has a story to tell when it comes to cancer.

Scanlon lost her brother-in-law to lymphoma in January of 2010.  In October of that same year Scanlon and Spader lost their father, Jack Betzig, to lung cancer. Betzig had been an avid supporter of the Long Island Sound Swim and had worked for years as a boater assisting the swimmers.

“It makes me smile to see everyone come together, I get goose-bumps,” said Spader. “It’s like people come out of the woodwork; it’s absolutely fabulous.”

Joyce, who is participating for her thirteenth time this year, will be swimming for two teams. The first is for her cousin Clare Joyce, who died of cancer when she was 41-years-old, and the second is for her mother, Helen McManus, who died of breast cancer at the age of 72.

“When you get out of the water and you have thousands of people cheering you on, it’s a great thing,” said Joyce.

Swim Across American’s Long Island Sound Swim will be taking place on Saturday in Larchmont.  The swim starts at the Larchmont Yacht Club and finishes at the Larchmont Shore Club. Swimmers begin to register at 5 a.m., the event begins around 7:30 a.m.  First swimmers should start reaching the Larchmont Shore Club around 9 a.m.

For more information on how to register, sponsor a swimmer or team, purchase spectator passes or volunteer visit the website .

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