CROPSEYVILLIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Despite the cold, 100 participants registered to take turns jumping into the frigid waters for a good cause. All proceeds benefit the food pantry at Our Lady of the Snow on Owens Road in Grafton.
Tamara Beal, Environmental Educator, helped to coordinate the event, and she says that many were surprised at how quickly tickets sold out.
“Yeah, so in the past, we have only been able to do 50… But this year, we have amped up those numbers to 100,” she said. “So it’s always been a bit crazy here at the Polar Plunge, and I can only imagine this year with twice as many people.”
Fred Hemeon is the Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus Council at Our Lady of Victory. The organization sponsored the event, and they were excited that it exceeded their expectations because of the current need for the food pantry.
“The need has escalated…a lot,” he said. “And our council would certainly be glad to participate because the knights of Columbus is about charity.”
Father Nathaniel Resila wanted to participate last year, but he was ready to take the plunge this time.
“I like to go for a lot of walks, and at night, it is cold,” he said. “So I think that’s been building up my resistance to the cold.”
But when it was time, only a few ran to the challenge, but everyone was happy to create a new experience with friends and family. And that is something Park Manager Melissa Miller wants to continue all year round at the park.
“There is so much to do, so much for families,” Miller said. “So many outdoor offerings and the best part is, there’s really no charge unless you wanna get some food.”
Savannah Wilson is in charge of Community programs, and she shared how the park also offers other unique opportunities that include animals and nature.
“[We offer] k-12 school programming that covers a variety of outdoor and environmental education,” she said.
And that includes snakes, owls, turtles, and fish. But after the plunge was over, there was only one more thing to do…to get warm and prepare for next year.