NORTHAMPTON - Under the early dawn sky Sunday, Chris Mosconi and Mary-Kate Poulin dove off the Northampton Marina dock. The goal: raising money for cancer.
Poulin, 18, of Northville, and Mosconi, 19, of Gloversille, swam from the marina on Houseman Street to a beach on Birchwood Place - a distance of 3.5 miles, they said - raising more than $2,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society.
They emerged roughly an hour after departing from the marina, shivering as they exited the water, relieved to be back on land. Mosconi said the swim was chilly, but both were confident in being able to finish.
Mary-Kate Poulin, left, and Chris Mosconi dry off after a 3.5-mile swim across the Great Sacandaga Lake on Sunday that raised money for the American Cancer Society. The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
"It is nice to be done," Poulin said.
Poulin said that more money is expected to come in, with checks still in the mail.
"We have some bigger donors who are expected to send something today," Poulin said.
In 2011 and 2012, Mosconi and Poulin swam the same stretch to raise money for Autism Speaks, raising around $12,000. This year, they chose a cause that affects both of them.
Both Mosconi and Poulin had family members who have passed away from cancer, and Poulin has two people close to her fighting it.
Tonye Grega, a former hospice nurse, Lexington employee and friend of the Poulin family, is fighting off stage 4 liver cancer. Nicole Poulin-Boyd, Poulin's aunt, is currently battling breast cancer. Standing on the beach the pair would walk out on, Poulin-Boyd said she was proud of her niece.
"I'm so proud of her and Chris - that they care so much to bring awareness to, first, Autism Speaks, and now, raising money for the American Cancer Society," Poulin-Boyd said.
Poulin-Boyd said money raised will go to research into treatments and cures for cancer, as well as to support victims through counseling and other needs.
The pair are both preparing for college. Mosconi has been attending LeMoyne College, while Poulin will attend Duke University.