Sea Bright: The Monmouth County Division 2 Ancient Order of Hibernians Patrick Torphy band led the 500 Polar Plungers from the deckhouse of Merri-Makers at Waters Edge to their brisk and bracing destination – the western shore of the Great Pond, Sea Bright New Jersey for the 6th Annual cele-brrrrr-ation to raise funds for Catholic Education. At a minimum of $25 per entrant it was expected to raise more than last year’s $100,000, with each school’s participation monies flowing back to their own coffers.
At 1:00 p.m. plunge time the water was a brrr-racing 42 degrees and air temps at 45 with an invigorating breeze to keep dippers dashing back from the ocean into waiting warming towels and blankets. A log fire in a pit near the water’s edge had a few stop to look, but most of them were fully clothed. The bathing suit crowd chose dryer, warmer alternatives.
St. John Vianney school plungers Sean Prusykowski and Susan Endler were undaunted as were quite a few more dippers of other schools. Christian Brothers Academy and Red Bank Catholic were among the shore area schools.
The event has grown from a small group of fund raisers to a significant mass of a dozen or so Catholic schools in the state in just six years.
The promoter/ sponsor was Guinness and the host site was Merri-Makers. The event had great support from the surrounding police, fire and emergency services of Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach. The safety and security was well covered as many participants parked and walked from as far away as the Sea Bright municipal beach parking lots – about a half mile- to Merri-Makers, whose lot was also full. The event sponsors provided security and crowd control to avoid mishaps. No incidents were reported.
Food and beverages were provided or could be purchased The refreshment center had a full house. Some plungers and families were noticed entering some of the eating spots in the town, with football another attraction on the day.