MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ: This New Year's Day about 600 Polar Plungers from across the county gathered in Asbury Park, to take a plunge for charity. This year the participants lucked out with nearly 60 degree weather, quite the contrast from last year's freezing temperatures of a low 10 degrees.
The Polar Plunge tradition began in 2002 with a group of 13 friends coming together to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean on New Year's Day to raise money for the education of children who lost a parent on 911. These friends formed the Sons of Ireland, a non-profit 501C3 organization dedicated to raising money for charities in Monmouth County. Every year they choose a charity or charities to donate the Plunge proceeds to. The two beneficiaries of the 2019 Plunge are Mary’s Place by the Sea a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer, and You Can NOT Be Replaced a grass roots organization started in 2012, to help educate and raise awareness of teen suicide.
TAPinto caught up with Middletown resident and Polar Plunger Joan Kret who commented, "To be able to contribute to two very worthwhile charities, being a part of this energetic crowd and taking the plunge on New Year's Day was totally invigorating!"
VIDEO: SEE CLIP HERE OF THE PLUNGE 2019.
According to their website the Sons of Ireland is dedicated to brotherhood, family, charity and community. As of 2018 they have raised over $750,000 to benefit local charities and 100% of the proceeds go to the chosen charities.
PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COURTESY OF PHOTOGRAPHER TOM ZAPCIC. TOM CAN BE REACHED AT 732.547.0893