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Norwalk's Spellman Swims Sound to Battle Cancer

LARCHMONT, N,Y. – Norwalk’s Jim Spellman pushed the limit of his abilities, reaching the Larchmont Shore Club’s beach where more than 500 of his fellow ‘Team Sarah’ swimmers also arrived in the 19th annual Swim Across America-Long Island Sound event to raise funding and awareness in the battle against cancer.

“It’s the third time I’ve done the swim,” said Spellman as he greeted his cheering teammates after his four-mile swim. “I didn’t set any records, but I finished and that’s the idea, right? I waited for the six-mile swimmers to come in and then snuck in with them. It was great. We’ll be back next year.”

Chad Glennon, whose mother-in-law Sarah Haller is the namesake of “Team Sarah”, said the team has grown each year as family members and friends join the cause. “I’ve been here since the event started, manning the boats and helping out,” Glennon said. “Then my mother-in-law died and we put the team together and I got into the water. It gets better each year.”

Several Greenwich Hospital nurses, including Pam Bruschi of Mamaroneck, also joined the Swim Across America-Long Island Sound effort. "I’ve been doing this for about 10 years,” said Bruschi, a nurse who brought along a gang of nurses from Greenwich Hospital medical facility as volunteers. “My nephew was diagnosed with liver cancer when he was 18 months old and he was involved. Everyone is going to be touched by the disease, so we all have an interest in helping. Our nurses are all helping.”

The hundreds of swimmers, members of 54 memorial teams -- each honoring a relative, loved one or friend lost to cancer – helped raise a record $1,200,000 surpassing the goal of $1.1 million set by the organization. Hundreds of other swimmers participated in several 2011 Swim Across America pools swims throughout the Westchester area this summer. SAALIS Executive Director Tony Sibio thanked the large crowd of swimmers, volunteers and supporters gathered at the Larchmont Shore Club’s beachfront and introduced several support groups, doctors and researchers on hand to report on what the funding meant in the fight against cancer.

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