As most of us are trying to keep warm by staying indoors or bundling up if we must brave the outdoors, the Sons of Ireland are taking the plunge in the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Masochistic? Possibly. The temperature of Asbury Park averages a high of 42 and a low of 26 degrees this time of year, much lower if you factor in wind chill. But a more powerful force driving the polar bear plungers, one that would compel someone to strip down to a bathing suit and run madly into a body of excruciating cold water, is charitable giving.
The Sons of Ireland organizes events to assist charitable organizations in Monmouth County, New Jersey. For eight years, they have been raising money by dipping into the ocean on New Years Day. This year, they hope to raise several thousand dollars for each of 4 highly regarded charities: Special Olympics of New Jersey, The Clean Ocean Action, the Campership of Monmouth County, and The Barn.
The event has grown over the years. It began with 30 dippers and last year had over 250 plungers of all ages! Kids to seniors and everyone in between all took the plunge for the betterment of their community. Each plunger is required to raise a minimum of $100. This year’s top fundraiser, Tom Asciutto, an office branch manager for Assent LLC, has raised $6780!
Sean Clifford, one of the event coordinators, believes that having a great time while being able to help others motivates the participants. “Not too many things are better than that,” he adds.
During these final weeks, the coordinators are working to spread the word and deal with logistical issues. Sean is one of several folks dedicated to pulling the polar plunge off. He shares, “It’s a great day and I want to see the event grow and help more people.”
We wish the Sons of Ireland the best of luck on New Year’s Day. Some of us even wish we were there to plunge with them!