Bethel Woman Swims in Annual Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim
Lisa Peden gives a thumbs up after she completed last year’s Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim. To Lisa’s right is Craig Beardsley, a 1980 U.S. Olympic Swim Team member and on the Swim Across America Board of Directors. Photo courtesy of Lisa Peden.
The following was sent in by Jenifer Howard, Jenifer Howard Public Relations–
Bethel, Conn., June 25, 2012 — Lisa Mele Peden of Bethel, Conn., swims for all of her friends and family that have experienced cancer. She swims because it is her way of giving thanks for her own good health, celebrating those who survive, and remembering those who have passed.
And this Saturday, June 30th, Lisa Mele Peden will be joining more than 200 other swimmers who all will be making waves in the fight against cancer in the 6th annual Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim.
“This is my third year swimming in the Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim,” noted Peden, who is 47 years old and has lived in Bethel for ten years. She is an active swimmer with the Mako Masters at the Greenknoll YMCA in Brookfield. For Swim Across America, she is a member of “The Cure Ators” team, with more than 30 swimmers ranging from elementary school age to retirement age. Howie Senior is the team captain and John Jorkowski is their coach. Howie Senior of New Milford, Conn., is another passionate supporter of Swim Across America and swimming for a cure. Peden says their weekly swimming practices are the highlight of her week.
“I participate in Swim Across America because some of my friends and family have experienced cancer. While a few have overcome and survived, others have not. I am thankful for the quality of life of those who live on,” said Peden. ”Participating in SAA makes me feel like I can make a difference for people in the present and future and make meaning out of the suffering and passing of those who have already experienced cancer.”
The June 30th Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim is open to swimmers of all levels. Swim Across America holds numerous swimming events throughout the United States each year. Swimmers, boaters, kayakers and land volunteers are encouraged to pre-register at www.swimacrossamerica.org to reserve their spot or register a team. There are several different swim options including a half-mile or a 1.5 mile swim, or a three or five-mile challenge. And new this year is a “corporate pool challenge” for those that prefer the comfort of a pool or need to swim on a different date. The “corporate pool challenge” allows swimmers to swim different distances and fundraise based on how many lengths of the pool they complete. This is the sixth year the swim has been held in Greenwich-Stamford and benefits the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the nation’s only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to funding cancer cell and gene therapy research. ACGT is headquartered on the Greenwich/Stamford border and serves as the start and finish line for the Swim. For more information, please visit www.SwimAcrossAmerica.org, email Jacque@swimacrossamerica.org or call 888-SWIM-USA.
Swim Across America is currently celebrating its 25thanniversary of “making waves in the fight against cancer.” While Swim Across America is a national organization, and hosts dozens of swims from Boston Harbor to under the Golden Gate Bridge, its roots are firmly anchored in Connecticut and along the Long Island Sound shore. Darien, Conn., resident Matt Vossler, and his lifelong friend and college roommate Jeff Keith founded the organization in 1987. And, Janel Jorgensen McArdle, president of Swim Across America, and 1988 Olympic silver medalist and Pan American gold medalist, grew up in Ridgefield, Conn., and spent her summers swimming in Long Island Sound.
“Last year we had 225 swimmers, plus 120 land, kayak and boat volunteers participating in the Greenwich-Stamford Swim,” noted Janel Jorgensen McArdle, president and ceo of Swim Across America. “This year, we hope to raise that number to close to 300 swimmers. This is such an inspiring event that every year, our swimmers come back and bring their families, friends, co-workers, or a whole team to swim.” Across the U.S., more than 4,000 swimmers, ranging in ages from four to 78, participate on an annual basis in the Swim Across America events.
“Many of our swimmers are either cancer survivors or have been touched by cancer in some way – either personally or by someone they know,” noted Matt Vossler, founder of Swim Across America. “Those that participate are truly inspirational. With every stroke each swimmer makes, it’s a chance to save a life through the promise of cancer research and treatment.”
Locally, the Greenwich-Stamford Swims have raised a total of $1 million for the Connecticut beneficiary, the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT). Nationally, Swim Across America has raised more than $40 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment.
Each participant in the half-mile and 1.5 mile swims are required to raise a minimum of $500 (swimmers under the age of 18 have a $300 minimum); swimmers in the three-mile challenge must raise $3,000, and those in the five-mile challenge must raise $5,000. Volunteer opportunities for boaters, kayakers and land volunteers are also available. For more information, visit www.SwimAcrossAmerica.org or email Jacque Lang at Jacque@swimacrossamerica.org or call 888-SWIM-USA or 203-438-0313.
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