Save the ‘Icy’ Date: Ninth Annual Polar Plunge Set for Later This Month

Southington residents and business owners will come together in a little over two weeks, jumping into the icy pond at Camp Sloper to raise money for Southington residents.

Credit: Jason Vallee (2013)
Credit: Jason Vallee (2013)
Think you got what it takes to brave the icy waters of a New England winter? Your chance to show off your skills – and help local children in the process – is now just two weeks away.

Camp Sloper and the Southington YMCA will host the Ninth Annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. The event already has nine teams and organizer Mark Pooler, Outdoor Center Director at Camp Sloper, said he hopes the event will prove to be the most successful to date.

"The community continues to step up and surprise us," Pooler said. "Every year, it surprises us just how much the community is willing to do to help out."

The event has raised more than $20,000 annually over each of the past three years, including more than $24,000 in an icy 2013 campaign. All money raised from the event goes to helping provide camperships for area residents.

If you are interested in participating, pledging or just coming to watch some dedicated plungers help the kids of Southington, here are the details:

To participate, in the YMCA Polar Plunge, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to participate in the YMCA Polar Plunge.
  • We are going to limit the number of people plunging this year to about 175 (roughly 30-40 per team).
  • You need to obtain sponsorships for yourself totaling a minimum of $100 per plunger; all pledges must be collected and turned in at the time of registration on January 18, 2014.
  • All plungers must have a signed waiver form completed prior to taking the plunge.

This year, seven teams will collaborate on this community effort to help kids and others may be joining in soon, Pooler said:

   1. Team Southington Fire Department – led by Police Chief Jack Daly.
   2. Team Southington Fire Department
– led by Fireman Bob Hunt.
   3. Team Board of Education – led by BOE Chairman Brian Goralski & SHS Teacher Bob Lasbury.
   4. Team YMCA
– led by Camp Director Mark Pooler & Executive Director John Myers & Cheshire Branch Director, Wendy Stevens.
   5. Team Southington Politicians
– led by Town Council Chairman Mike Riccio and former Town Councilor Dr. Al Natelli.
   6. Team Calvanese Foundation
– led by Foundation Member Lauren Forgione & Aqua Turf Staff Don Jenkins.
   7. Team Southington
- led by Recreation Director David Lapreay - Open to all Town Employees and Residents who want to take the plunge
   8. Team Lake Compounce
- led by General Manager Jerry Brick - Open to all Lake Compounce employees and Friends.
   9. Feature Team for 2014 to be announced very soon…

To pledge, just contact one of the team captains or team members and make a donation for their willingness to jump into Sloper Pond in January.

  • Each plunger needs a minimum of $100 in order to take the plunge.
  • All donations are recorded at the YMCA and receipts will be given for tax purposes.
  • All donations help provide children and teens in need with a magical summer experience at YMCA Camp Sloper.

Parking will be limited at the event, so spectators are asked to arrive erly and carpool when possible. Wearing "team colors" is also encouraged.

  • Team Southington Police Department – Blue Shirts
  • Team Southington Fire Department – Red Shirts
  • Team Board of Education –Yellow Shirts
  • Team YMCA/YMCA Camp Sloper – Orange Shirts
  • Team Southington Politicians – Green Shirts
  • Team Calvanese Foundation – Black Shirts
  • Team Southington - Blue Shirts
  • Team Lake Compounce – White Shirts
  • Team TBA – also TBA

“We at the YMCA are looking forward to another great event and hoping to exceed last year’s results raised at this event,” Pooler said. “Remember, every dollar raised goes to help provide children and teens a memorable summer camp experience at YMCA Camp Sloper, so it truly is ‘for the kids’!”

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