Each summer hundreds of swimmers dive into Nantucket Sound to raise money to support cancer care with the Swim Across America Nantucket annual swim. This is no ordinary summer.
This year because of the pandemic, Swim Across America has taken a different tack to raise much-needed funds for cancer care. The event has gone virtual with islanders swimming, biking, running, and walking on their own to raise money. Cancer doesn’t care about the virus and the demands for on-island oncology and palliative care services are rising. The fundraising goal is $450,000. These funds support the oncology and infusion care services of Nantucket Cottage Hospital and free island palliative care funded by Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket (“PASCON”).
The Swim Across America fundraising got a significant boost last week when Tyler Roethke and Grant Wentworth swam across Vineyard Sound from Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard. Roethke and Wentworth’s effort raised in excess of $105,000 and they completed the six-mile crossing in less than two hours. “These two guys really put us within reach of our fundraising goal. They both represent the best of Nantucket taking on a tough task for fellow islanders,” said Jim Pignato Co-Event director.
The final push to reach the annual goal is the virtual event, Move the Rock, during the weekend of August 28-30. This event gives islanders and those who care about Nantucket anywhere in the world an opportunity to run, walk, swim, and bike on their own. The format is simple: sign up online at www.swimacrossamerica.org/movetherock. There are ten different events to choose from and you can mix or match and do multiple events.
Registration is only $25 but a minimum contribution of $50 is suggested and more is welcomed and needed. You can register for single or multiple events, or you can get an all-access pass for $100. There is a 5k walk category as well, so there’s an event for every fitness level. For those looking for a competitive challenge, there will be an Island King and Queen category which is a 1-mile swim, 30-mile bike, and half marathon run for $100.
All participants will be given a t-shirt that salutes our intrepid nurses. “We are hoping that folks use this event to cap off the fundraising campaign while doing something healthy. Not having the annual swim has made it difficult but we see people rising to the challenge and supporting this important community cause,” said Jill Roethke co-event director. “We are looking to Move the Rock to help support cancer care by running, biking and swimming all over Nantucket (and beyond) and say good-bye to summer the last weekend in August,” said Jim Pignato.