“Celebratory, inclusive, and a little crazy.” These words, spoken by Tabor Academy junior Grace Ryan (Class of ‘19), aptly characterize last Sunday’s Polar Plunge at Silvershell Beach in Marion.
Proceeds from the annual plunge benefit the school’s Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, which pairs Tabor student volunteers with cognitively- and developmentally-delayed children to work on building fundamental skills.
The mood was festive as students from Tabor and Sandwich High School (fundraising rivals) showed up at Silvershell Beach – many in shorts and flip-flops – for their second annual dip.
After a few opening remarks and words of gratitude, it was go-time. Locking hands for moral support, participants raced into – and right back out of – water that was the same frigid 42 degrees as the air outside. Even Tim Cleary, dean of the freshman and sophomore class, took the plunge – fully clothed, hat and all.
The tally as of Monday was $8,000 raised from pledges, donations, and sales of “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Plunge sweatshirts at Sunday’s event. Almost $1,100 of that was raised by Tabor’s Annalisa Souza (Class of ‘18), who was last year’s top fundraiser as well.
It was over in a blur, literally, but the benefits will warm these students and young athletes for months.
By Deina Zartman