St. Vincent’s 17th Annual SWIM Across the Sound Celebrity Breakfast was held on March 6, 2013 at the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport, CT. This event, held in support of cancer research, is attended by hundreds each year. This year, the fundraiser drew close to 500 people with a silent and live auction featuring sports memorabilia and commentary, breakfast items, and a car raffle. Table sponsors added to the fun by serving their friends and colleagues as a “celebrity waiter”. Any tips they earned were also donated to SWIM.
Geno Auriemma, Head Coach for women’s basketball at the University of Connecticut, was honored as the keynote speaker at the breakfast. Auriemma was selected for his drive in leadership both in sports and in the community. His speech was popular with the attendees and contributed to the over $110,000 that this event was expected to raise.
The breakfast ended with the 2013 SWIM car raffle. The prize, a 2013 Nissan Juke SV, was donated by Mario D’Addario Buick GMC Cadillac, and William B. Meyer, Inc. Both Connecticut-based businesses, these companies have donated a car to the Celebrity SWIM Breakfast raffle for the past ten years. As articulated by Tom Gillon, Sr., President of William B. Meyer, “William B. Meyer and D’Addario are local. Our employees, our customers, indeed our very lifeblood pulses through this community; there is an innate obligation that comes with that, to give back where we can.” This year’s winner was Sean Kennedy from Trumbull.
A charitable, grassroots organization, SWIM improves access in Fairfield and New Haven counties to cancer screening and prevention programs. Through a variety of programs, SWIM educates people on how to minimize exposure to cancer-causing agents; provides assistance to cancer patients through services not traditionally covered by insurance companies, and supports cancer patients on a case-by-case basis for their specific needs. The Celebrity SWIM Breakfast and other yearly events provide the funding needed to help the foundation reach more than 20,000 people annually.