Reporting Nancy Harty
CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s a beautiful day to be at the beach, but a group of people swimming in Lake Michigan this morning were interested in more than just enjoying the weather, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.
About 400 swimmers, many in wet suits, hit the water at Ohio Street Beach as part of a fundraiser through Swim Across America.
Rob Micuda was swimming for the first time in the Swim Across America fundraiser to honor his mother Eva, who died of uterine cancer two years ago.
“It was getting really wavy out there so yeah, it was a lot of fun. It was a great time, a great cause,” said Micuda.
Steve Schlegel has done it for 15 years, since one of his daughters died of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Annie would have wanted us to do this. She was all in to treating other kids with cancer, particularly through her last days,” said Schlegel.
Schlegel’s team raised almost $30,000. The event is in its 20th year, and organizers expect to raise $400,000 for Rush University’s Cancer Center.
John and Vincent Zefron were swimming the half-mile for the first time with their mom cheering from the beach.
“She screams all the time. You can hear her if there is like a thousand people in there,” they said.
A select group swam three miles in the open waters, including Olympian Steve Gregg, who won a silver medal in the ’76 games in Montreal.
“We all have our own personal stories that you think about. My father had prostate cancer, was a prostate cancer survivor, so it touches everybody,” said Gregg.
David Sims, a member of the 1980 Olympic Swim team that boycotted the Moscow games, also participated.
Severe weather forced organizers to postpone a swim across the lake, which was supposed to start at midnight.