SPARTA, NJ – It was a small but hardy crew that showed up to take the Polar Plunge for the Sparta Elks Club. Approximately 20 plungers braved the cold and wind to jump in Lake Mohawk on Sunday, March 12.
Sparta Mayor Gil Gibbs had his wife and granddaughter there to cheer him on for his sixth plunge. “I do this for all of the work the Elks do for Camp Moore. They are also a big supporter of TOPSoccer,” Gibbs said.
Two Sparta EMS members braved the cold, to make sure everyone was safe floating in dry-suits ready to help if someone got into trouble.
For her first plunge, organizer Jennifer Appaluccio said, “It was cold.” She has had a hand in running the event for a few years but this year, “they made me go in."
Doreen Middleton said, “It was extremely awesome for the donations I got. Even though there were not a lot of people here, the support was great.”
Hailing from Cape May, fifth grade teacher Mike Matthews braved the cold water with five of his colleagues from Northers Hills Academy. The Sussex County Educational Services Commission school had additional support from administrators including Superintendent Andrea Romano.
Appaluccio estimated $3000 had been raise by their efforts on Sunday, “though more donations may still come in.” The money raised goes to support children attending Elks Camp Moore. This year there are 14 children attending from the Sparta Lodge’s efforts, according to Appaluccio.