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Great South Bay swim memorializes teen

The father of a teen killed in 1999 just days before the Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim is hoping the public will come out and support the event next Friday in Brightwaters.

The swim, now dubbed the Maggie Fischer Memorial Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim in honor of the daughter of Robert Fischer, a village trustee, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Fire Island Lighthouse. The public can watch the event at Gilbert Park in Brightwaters, where the 5.25-mile swim ends. Refreshments will be served.

“It helps us remember Maggie and it helps us get over her loss because it’s something big and good that has come from it,” Fischer said.

The event will feature 100 swimmers who will complete a 5.25-mile swim across the Great South Bay. Registration for entrants has closed.

The Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim dates to the 1920s, Fischer said. In 1999, Maggie Fischer, 17 and an avid swimmer, was planning to participate when, a few days before the event, she was killed in a car accident. The Fischer family has since been involved in organizing the event.

“Emotionally, it’s something that sustains us from year to year,” Fischer said. “We get a chance to celebrate a wonderful girl’s life.”

Proceeds from this year’s swim will benefit the Hospice Care Network Children’s and Family Bereavement Program, and a scholarship fund in Maggie Fischer’s name, organizers said.

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