Freezin’ for a Reason


Photo by Kristin Carlson

The ECG channeled the FORCE to take the plunge!

Most wouldn’t consider 30-degree weather to be ideal for swimming and yet on November 19, 2022, people flocked to Cedar Beach to jump in. So why were these people so eager to get in the freezing water? They were taking part in an event called the Polar Plunge, a fundraiser that collects donations for the Special Olympics.

Plungers could post on their social media to bring awareness to the cause leading up to the day of the event. Pat-Med’s National Honor Society was one of the many groups who took the plunge, raising over 3,000 dollars!

Ashely Schreck, a senior in NHS, said she was excited to hop in the water but not excited to freeze and that “It’s super fun and everyone is just so happy to be here.”

The event was able to raise 115,000 in total but don’t worry you can still donate!  

There was a wide variety of groups jumping in the water on this day, most having a theme or costumes to swim in.

Our NHS went for a beach/luau theme, perfect for the frigid temperatures. Others wore onesies, pirate costumes, and even an Elsa dress. Though one group went above and beyond –  The Empire City Garrison, or ECG, is a volunteer Star Wars © costuming organization that contribute to local community and charity work. Learn more about the ECG here.

 Along with these groups were other schools and teachers. The Sachem team managed to raise 24,260 dollars! 

At the end of the day “this annual event is a fun community experience to raise money and awareness for a good cause” said Lauren McGavern another participant of the plunge. 

Along with the participants, there was a variety of sponsors. One that stood out was the Port Jefferson EMS. Not only were they proud sponsors, but they also provided medical support for the event in case of emergencies.  The EMS’s said they were “very supportive of the special Olympics” and “Wished the plungers best of luck”. Without support from people like them this event couldn’t have happened, so we thank them.  

The Polar Plunge was an immense success that not only raised money for the Special Olympics but also brought the community together. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for those with mental and physical disabilities. And most people would agree that raising money, even if it’s a small part against the whole, for this amazing organization is an honor.