DISCLAIMER: Open-water swimming is inherently dangerous. Open-water swimmers risk drowning, hypothermia, hyperthermia, heart attacks, panic attacks, cramping, jelly fish stings, fish bites, boat or jet-ski collisions, collisions with floating or submerged objects (including other swimmers), and other calamities that can be injurious, disabling or fatal! The "West Neck Pod" is an informal association of open-water swimmers who swim "outside the lines" with no lifeguard protection, it has no formal membership, organizational structure or legal identity, and its participants, including the author of this blog, make no representations and assume no liability with respect to its group open-water swims. All swimmers who participate in West Neck Pod group open-water swims do so at their own risk. Be careful out there!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Team West Neck Pod "Makes Waves to Fight Cancer"...

Proud Team Captain displaying
our Team plaque

Weather conditions were perfect for this year's "Sound-to-Cove" Swim Across America, an annual event to raise funds for local beneficiaries in support of cancer research, prevention and treatment. A total of 160 swimmers, inspired by the courage and strength of loved ones fighting cancer, or the memory of those who'd lost their battle, waded into Long Island Sound in Glen Cove on Saturday, August 9th, to swim distances of 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 5K or 10K. The swim marked the culmination of months of inspired and dedicated fund-raising, and for the third year in a row, a team of swimmers from the West Neck Pod ("Team West Neck Pod") participated, collectively raising more than $35,000! to fund local organizations like Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Fighting Chance, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Feinstein Institute of North Shore-LIJ.

This year’s team members included Evelyn Cruise, Kara Horn, Bonnie Millen, Alice Rogers and Teri Tiso swimming the one-mile; Tony Alizzi, Paul Coster, Margot Edlin, Joe Kasper, Steve Moskowitz, Vincent Tophoff and me swimming the 5K; Annmarie Kearney-Wood and Gae Polisner swimming the 10K; and David and Maureen Birnbaum kayaking alongside us. As of this writing, the total amount raised by this year’s "Sound-to-Cove" swim is nearly $304,000!

Many, many thanks to the valiant members of the 2014 "Team West Neck Pod"; to our families, friends, fellow swimmers and coworkers who supported and encouraged us and contributed so generously to this cause; to the SAA organizers and volunteers, and the kayakers who guided us from buoy to buoy and kept us from straying too far off course; and to the beneficiaries of Swim Across America, whose dedicated research efforts – funded by our contributions – bring us ever closer to a cancer-free world! See you next year when Team West Neck Pod once again "Makes Waves to Fight Cancer! 

5K swimmers Steve Moskowitz, Carol Moore,
Paul Coster, Margot Edlin and Tony Alizzi

Top individual fundraiser Joe Kasper(!) with fellow 5Kers Carol Moore,
Vincent Tophoff, Margot Edlin, Tony Alizzi, some guy, and Steve Moskowitz
One of our kayakers
Bonnie Millen, Margot Edlin & Tony Alizzi chatting with
photographer Steve Pfost, who covered the event for Newsday

Our exhausted but triumphant 10K+ swimmers,
Gae Polisner and Annmarie Kearney-Wood

10K swimmers pose with their plaques

Buoys in a straight line?? I don't think so!
(Note: donations to Swim Across America are still being accepted through the Fall! You can still donate on behalf of Team West Neck Pod or one or more of your favorite open-water swimmers at:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Team West Neck Pod's 2014 "Swim Across America"

The 2013 "Team West Neck Pod"

For the third year in a row, members of the West Neck Pod are taking up arms against cancer, as we participate as part of "Team West Neck Pod" in the "Sound-to-Cove" Swim Across America to raise money for local cancer research and treatment programs. Like so many Long Island families, our West Neck Pod family has been deeply affected by cancer. Several of our members are cancer survivors themselves, and virtually all of us have lost friends, family members and co-workers to this disease. Last year, Team West Neck Pod raised nearly $20,000 to support organizations like Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Fighting Chance, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and our neighbor across the harbor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. The cutting-edge research that is funded by our fundraising efforts and those of thousands of other swimmers across the country help enhance the longevity and quality of life for cancer patients and their families in our community. Our individual swims honor the memory of loved ones we have lost to this disease and the courage of those whose struggle continues.

The members of Team West Neck Pod thank you for your generous support!

You can make a credit card donation by clicking on the link below and donating on behalf or one or more of your favorite open-water swimmers, or send a check made payable to Swim Across America to Charles A. Barragato & Co. Attn: Angelo Pirozzi, 950 Third Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10022 (please indicate that the donation is in support of "Team West Neck Pod" or a specified team member). 


Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.