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Wednesday, August 21 News

Westport retailers ‘make waves’ against cancer

WESTPORT — Retailers and restaurants will help “make waves” in the fight against cancer for the third annual “Make Waves Day.”

The event takes place on June 20 and is a community fundraising initiative for Swim Across America Fairfield County and its local beneficiary, Stamford-based Alliance Cancer Gene Therapy. It is open swimmers of all ages in Long Island Sound.

Wendy Lawrence-Probert, an organizer for “Make Waves Day,” said several businesses in the Playhouse Square Shopping Plaza are participating. This includes Southern Tide, Splash of Pink, Shoes ‘n’ More, She La La, Scout and Molly, Westport Country Playhouse, Pure Barre and Massage Envy.

“All of these businesses are donating either a percentage of sales or they donated prizes for top swimmers in fundraisers,” Lawrence-Probert said. “They’ve joined together to support Swim Across America.”

These businesses will be supported with a banner at the Westport Country Playhouse until June 24 for the open water swim on June 22.

“I’m hoping going forward we can at least double the amount of businesses from this year and it just keeps growing,” Lawrence-Probert said.

Residents are invited to show support for the cause by shopping at participating retailers on the June 20.

“There’s the swimmers who help raise money and there’s my kind who shop for a cause,” Lawrence-Probert said. “Every little bit helps.”

Over the past 13 years Swim Across America has raised $3.4 million for cancer gene therapy over, Lawrence-Probert said. This year’s funds are supporting the swim’s beneficiary ACGT and its research grants for an immunotherapy vaccine for melanoma and a viral therapy for brain cancer.

“It’s always nice to help the organizations who help people inflicted with cancer,” she said. “This particular swim helps get in front of that by funding the research.”

Lawrence-Probert said she was happy Westport retailers and residents were helping support the cause. In 2018, merchants helped raised over $7,000 for Swim Across America.

“I think it’s great when a community joins together and all participate in the same cause,” she said. “I think it’s exciting our plaza is going to be all red, white and blue for the swim.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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