Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Plunge to Take Place at Noon, Jan. 1

By Joe Prezioso

This New Year’s Day, while some people are watching football or resting from the previous evening, others will be taking a swim in the North Atlantic.

The second annual Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge will take place at noon at the Nahant life saving station with hopes to raise money for the Lynn Special Needs Camp.

“The Polar Plunge started for us nine years ago,” said organizer George Sonia. “A group of us started out as a small group, about six and then every year it got bigger. Last year I would say we had about 35 people and this year we have more than 50 signed up so far.”

Last year was the first year the group raised money for a cause. They raised more than $10,000 to buy a handicapped accessible golf cart for Gannon golf course. This year the group aims to buy a splash pad and a water park for the special needs camp.

“The splash pad will cost approximately $70,000.  We do not expect to raise that, but whatever we raise will go to that fund,” said Sonia.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Lisa Nerich, Lynn Parks and Recreation director.  “It’s open to all ages.”

“I think it’s a great way to start the year,” said Sonia. “Everyone does the same thing every day of their life, so for me, it’s a great time. Some people call it crazy, but it’s a great time. Everyone comes down, there’s no stress.  Come down, relax by the fire. It’s just a cool day.”

The group is selling t-shirts for $20 each with 100 percent of the sales going toward the fund. Shirts bought ahead of time will feature a number while those bought on the day of the plunge will just have the event’s logo with no personalized number. After the plunge, people are encouraged to go to Tony’s Pub where 20 percent of the day’s food and beverage profit will be donated to the fund.

There will be raffles and a 50-50 drawing.

The organizers ask those who want to participate to be at the beach by 11 a.m.

“People who don’t want to take the plunge can come down, buy shirts, take photos and cheer on the plungers,” added Nerich.

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