The Smithtown Bay Yacht Club was the site of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation’s Polar Plunge to benefit the not-for-profit on March 4.
Founded in 2003, the Foundation works with the Smithtown Central School District and families in the area to provide services to those in need.
Many of the participants learned about the Plunge through the school district.
“It’s obviously to help out the organization,” stated one participant, “but my daughter and son are volunteering as a part of the National Honor Society… and we’re jumping in to support them and the organization.”
Evan Hladky of Hauppauge summarized his motive as “it’s for kids” when asked why he was plunging.
“The proceeds allow us to support families in need due to illness, loss of a family member, fires and unforeseen financial hardship,” said Kristine Lonetto, executive board member of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation. “We pay bills, provide school supplies, adopt families during the holidays and help coordinate children and camps.”
“We recently funded putting in a new engine in a car as well as insurance for a young woman in a shelter so she could work and care for her three siblings, who she has custody of,” noted Christine Fitzpatrick, executive board member of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation. “We are also still trying to recover monetarily post-COVID, but sadly the number of families needing our help increased exponentially.”
The event was delayed due to flooding in Nissequogue, which caused one woman’s vehicle to get stuck. Several volunteers were stranded at the Yacht Club until the tides went down. Thankfully for the event organizers, the location was amenable to doing the event later in the day, even allowing organizers to leave behind possessions safely locked away.
One participant missed the mad dash to the water and had to brave the cold alone with an audience. We are happy to report he did not disappoint, fully submerging himself into the Bay of Smithtown.
The Bay of Smithtown was said to be 39 degrees on March 4 at the time of the polar Plunge.