Frigid temperatures and winter weather weren’t enough to stop the enthusiastic “plungers” this weekend as more than 70 area residents braved the waters of Slopers Pond during the Seventh Annual Polar Plunge.
The event drew a crowd of several hundred and by the time the last participants jumped, Outdoor Center Director Mark Pooler said the effort had raised a record-setting $20,000 for the YMCA’s campership fund.
“The generosity never ceases to amaze me. It seems like every year, more people want to get involved and it has turned into a really fun community outing,” Pooler said.
In the first year, the event helped raise a few thousand dollars as a handful of participants tested the January waters and it has grown exponentially since then, said YMCA Executive Director John Myers. The event helped raised $18,000 in 2011 and donations that came in as Pooler and his team braved the waters for 75 seconds led to the event raising over $20,000 for the first time.
This year's brave dippers included Team , Team , Team , Team Southington Politicians, Team Calvanese Foundation and the newest group, Team Southington led by Garry Brumback and Assistant Town Manager Mark Sciota.
“I am thrilled to be able to help such a worthy cause,” Brumback said. “The idea of jumping into a hole in an icy pond is only being considered because of this great cause. Helping families in Southington send their kids for two weeks of summer camp at YMCA's Camp Sloper is worth a few minutes of being cold.”