Rowing Challenge to Benefit ACGT
Swim Across America Fairfield County and Greenwich Crew are teaming up for a charity rowing event “Meters for a Cure ERG Challenge” on Sunday, Sept. 16, with proceeds funding Swim Across America Fairfield County and its beneficiary the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the nation’s only foundation dedicated exclusively to funding cancer gene therapy research.
On Sept. 16, those that want to help raise money for cancer research will join together at the Greenwich Water Club at 49 River Rd., and relay against each other on erg machines (an indoor rowing machine also known as an ergometer) to compete to see who can accumulate the most meters in 40 minutes. Teams of four will be created and divided by age group (middle school, high school and adult) and each participant will raise at least $100 for the cause.
“Swim Across America has been in the Fairfield County area for a long time, with 2018 being its 12th year of holding a Greenwich-Stamford Swim this past June,” noted Michele Graham, co-chair of the Swim. “This year though, our theme is ‘We Are More Than A Swim, We Are A Cause,’ and this has played out in various ways with the community getting involved with holding pool swims, restaurants and retailer ‘Make Waves’ benefit days, and Greenwich Crew rallying its rowers to get involved and help raise money for crucial cancer research. It’s really wonderful to see our community come together in so many creative ways.”
“Greenwich Crew is excited to partner with Swim Across America Fairfield County for our upcoming Meters for a Cure ERG Challenge,” said Michael Wieneke, director of Programs and Member Services with Greenwich Crew and the Greenwich Water Club. “Part of being a good rower is giving back to your community. The Erg Challenge is a great way for our kids to put their talents to the test and give back through supporting Swim Across America and its mission to raise funds for cancer research. Almost all of our members have been impacted by cancer in some form with family members and friends and we’re ready to help fight back. Swim Across America has a great reputation supporting cancer research both in Greenwich/Stamford and nationally. We are happy Swim Across America picked Greenwich Crew to help develop programs outside of their open water and pool swims.”
In the past 12 years, the Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford event has raised more than $3.7 million for support of the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and its cancer research grants. This year’s Swim and its different fundraising activities support four ACGT grants with scientists working on immunotherapy treatments for osteosarcoma, novel new immunotherapy treatments for blood cancers, immune-based therapy and vaccines for melanoma and virotherapy for brain cancer.
Co-chairs of the event are Michele Graham of Old Greenwich, whose 21 year-old daughter Nicole is currently undergoing treatment for relapsed leukemia, of which she was diagnosed when she was 16; and Lorrie Lorenz of Riverside, whose daughter Brooke has been close to seven years cancer-free from lymphoma. Both Nicole and Brooke are Greenwich High School graduates. Nicole Graham is scheduled to be the guest speaker to kick-off the Meters for a Cure Erg Challenge.
The event will also feature Senator Scott Frantz, a former collegiate rower with Princeton and avid rower today, who will speak and also participate in the ERG Challenge, as well as other noted members of the community. Marcus Zavattaro, a board member with Friends of Greenwich Crew, will be the master of ceremonies for the event. The fundraiser is also being organized by long-time Swim Across America and Greenwich Crew parents, Alice Catalano and Kellie Norrgard.