Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Polar Plunge

Once again it's that time of year where Eric asks me to jump in some freezing cold water to raise money for a worth cause and challenges everyone to collect as much as they can in donations. If you would like to support my plunge effort you can donate on Eric's site through PayPal or send Eric a check as detailed below. Please email me to let me know what you're donating so I have a running total- and THANKS !

Without further cajoling, I'll let you read on. You can also catch this on: and note- as a bonus, I'll post pictures Margit takes of me doing the deed (which I hate, I hate cold water) on my blog (

Hi All,

It’s, once again, that time of year. No, it’s not the holiday season I’m talking about. It’s that time of year when I attempt to recruit a number of you to join me in January in jumping into Long Island Sound. “Why would you do something that stupid?” you may ask if you have never done this. If you have, you are probably thinking right now “I was dreading this letter!” Let’s start with a brief history of the event. In 2005 when the Tsunami hit the south pacific, I thought that we could use the Plunge as a way to raise charitable funds for the American Red Cross, which we did quite well. In fact, that year, we organized simultaneous Plunges in Cleveland, New Mexico, and California. In 2006, we continued this terrific annual event, but decided to make it beneficial to someone closer to home. I wanted those that donated to see directly where their generous funds were going. We raised money for a young boy battling cystic fibrosis. The funds we raised helped offset some of his extensive hospital bills and paid for a well needed vacation to Disney. How cool is that! In 2007, we continued the trend of helping children directly in need by donating funds to a family with overwhelming hospital bills due to testing and procedures with their two autistic kids. The money this time paid for the kids to attend a leading autism medical specialist in Boston, one that their insurance wouldn’t pick up. In 2008, the plunge was in honor of Jacob Rainey, a young boy from Stratford, CT battling Kawasaki’s disease. Anyone that attended the plunge that year saw first hand from Jacob and his mother Kathleen how this simple event had so positively affected their lives. In 2009, we raised funds for a family from Farmington whose mother was hit by a drunk driver while riding her bike and has been left a quadriplegic. Last year, the benefit of the Plunge was a young man from Trumbull who was also struck by a drunk driver and left with insurmountable medical bills.

This year, we will be raising funds and awareness for Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH), a charity set up by my good friend Laurie Hollander who has sons in the military. The funds will benefit disabled veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, many of whom have lost limbs, by purchasing vans and vehicles for these disabled veterans and have them adapted to each soldiers needs. According to Laurie, "Vans cost from $15,000 to $35,000 each which is an incredibly imposing sum of money for many vets. We make sure all the money raised makes it to the vets." I feel this is an extremely important cause this year (they all have been) as we can easily forget that we still have young soldiers over in the Middle East fighting a war for us daily. This is something that is to easy to lose track of, especially as we deal with domestic issues now like the recession – BUT, it’s important that we don’t forget this and that we do our part to support our soldiers. In fact, Laurie said that if we raise over $4000 from the Plunge, she will go in sans swim suit! OK, maybe she didn’t say this but I feel $4000 is a solid goal anyways.

I realize it’s a pain in the ass to raise charitable funds, so at the very least, we are still raising awareness to this cause just by participating or coming out to watch. The goal is still to try and raise a minimum of $100 each. In the four years that we have done the Plunge, we have raised over $64,000, thanks to all of you who have contributed and/or participated. One of my favorite things about the Plunge is the way that it makes those attending smile – even those of us that are stupid enough to Plunge.

If you plunged last year, you need to come back out this year as you were jipped. Last year was close to 50 degrees and sunny out. You want the real deal – the single digit, snow on the ground, wind whipping New England winter weather!

Here is the official information on the upcoming Plunge for:

When: Saturday, January 15, 2011
Where: Southport Beach on Pequot/Beachside Avenue (Exit 18 or 19 off i95)

Even if you are not plunging, please come down, support the event and watch us plunge, even if it’s only me.

Please e-mail me at if you are planning on being there so I have an idea of a head count.

Each plunger should make an effort to raise $100 to be donated to “Help Our Military Heroes”. You can send checks to me, bring them with you to the plunge, or donate through paypal at . If you donate through paypal, please send me an email informing me of this, and note it in your paypal donation so that I can then keep track of each individual donation. Email Eric if you want details on sending him a check!