Merril Hoge to Headline Gala Benefiting First Responders, EMS, and Their Families Battling Cancer

BRIDGEPORT—St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound will host its Annual Sports Gala and Auction benefiting Connecticut police, fire, and correction officers, EMS personnel, public safety dispatchers, and their families battling cancer. Retired NFL Star, Merril Hoge, will be the guest speaker at the event on March 20, 2019, at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven, CT. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut is the title sponsor of this event.

Merril Hoge is a retired football player who played eight seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. During that time, he set the team record for most receptions by a running back. After he retired, he transformed himself into a football analyst for ESPN for 21 years. He then became a bestselling author and motivational speaker. His first book, “Find A Way: Three Words That Changed My Life,” was released in 2010 and helped him achieve his dream of becoming an NFL powerhouse—and would later help him fight to live as he struggled to overcome cancer, open heart surgery and family tragedy.

All donations will be used to fund programs to support first responders throughout Connecticut. Courageous first responders put themselves in harm’s way to protect and keep Connecticut residents safe. The funds raised will provide financial support for these heroes so they may worry less about utility bills, mortgage payments, car insurance, and other expenses, enabling them to concentrate on their recovery should they have to battle cancer.

Ticket donations are $100 each. Table hosts (ten seats) are available for $1,000.

(For more information, contact St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation at 203.382.2301 or visit

About St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound

St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound is a charitable not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization run by the
St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation of Bridgeport, CT. Since 1987, the SWIM has had a unique niche helping individuals and families struggling through the difficult changes that cancer brings with it.  The SWIM serves approximately 30,000 people annually by providing over 44 programs, including cancer education, screening, prevention and support programs at low- or no-cost for the uninsured and underinsured. In addition, the SWIM helps individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific financial assistance, funding of wigs and prostheses, medication assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships, support groups and more.

(For more information, contact the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation at 203.576.5451 or visit