Fall is typically the time of year the annual Sip & Shop event for Swim Across America Fairfield County is held, with numerous vendors who showcase their products all to raise funds for crucial cancer research. But this year is different — so the Sip & Shop event is going virtual! For four days from November 5 through November 8, the Swim Across America Fairfield County Sip & Shop event will feature dozens of vendors who are offering products and services to purchase online, with shipping and curbside pick-up options.
Visitors can “scroll instead of stroll” among items from clothing to jewelry to home accessories.
New this year is the Dinner Party to Go offering on November 6 with a delicious meal for six with food from local favorite purveyors and restaurants like the Old Greenwich and Darien Butcher Shop, COBS Bread, Putnam & Vine Wines & Spirits, Sugar Rush Bakery and Splurge.
Sip & Shop for Swim Across America Fairfield County began in 2016 as a way to showcase the local small businesses run by women. The annual event was founded by Nancy Carr and her event partner Roseann Sarica Benedict, who originally met raising their children in Greenwich. The event has since expanded to include many other, mostly women-owned small businesses.
“I have enjoyed meeting so many fabulous vendors over the years and I love this event,” said Nancy Carr, co-founder of the Sip & Shop event and co-chair of Swim Across America Fairfield County.
“While this year has been challenging due to combating COVID and the need to keep everyone safe, I’m just not willing to give up on the Sip & Shop idea and decided we can still hold the event, but just make it virtual,” she added. “I think it’s a great way to help lift spirits especially as we enter the holiday season.”
While part of the fun of the annual Sip & Shop event was wandering the tables and discovering new and great items, this year’s virtual event can be just as fun.
Carr hopes shoppers will take the time to “scroll, not stroll,” and find everything they’ll need for holiday gifting.
The businesses participating in the Swim Across America Fairfield County Sip & Shop rely heavily on the income and connections made at this event and other pop-up shops and gatherings. Carr noted, “If your business is anything like mine, this pandemic has impacted it. The Sip & Shop event is a great platform to promote independent businesses and raise some funds for cancer research.”
Established in 2008, the Swim Across America Fairfield County event has donated $4.165 million in its 13 previous years for its local Fairfield County-based beneficiary, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT).
One hundred percent of funds contributed by Swim Across America to ACGT go directly to crucial cancer gene therapy research. Funds raised this year are supporting a grant from ACGTfocused on an innovative approach to tackling the challenges of pediatric sarcomas, which is being pursued by researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital led by Stephen Gottschalk, MD, chair of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Dr. Gottschalk has conducted more than 25 previous clinical trials and most recently worked on gene therapies for treating infants with the “bubble boy” disease.
While these times are filled with uncertainty, one thing remains true: groundbreaking cancer research still needs funding to save lives. Swim Across America 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, Swim Across America is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.