By Nancy Vallarella

On Saturday, March 2, 2024, the shores of Long Beach in Nissequogue bore witness to an exhilarating spectacle as the third annual Smithtown Children’s Foundation (SCF) Polar Plunge unfolded. Despite overcast skies and unrelenting rain, the event experienced a remarkable 20% surge in attendance compared to the previous year, with participants braving the chilly waters with unwavering enthusiasm and smiles. Reflecting on the event’s growth, SCF Executive Board Member Christine Lonetto shared, “We have watched this event grow from 48 plungers to over 120. The adrenaline and excitement of watching these fearless Long Islanders plunge in support of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation is contagious! Special thanks to the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club and our generous sponsors that made this event possible.”

The event showcased the unwavering support of the local community, with attendees converging from diverse gatherings such as the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Hauppauge Swim Team, and residents from every corner of the Town of Smithtown. The Nissequogue Volunteer Fire Department stood ready to ensure safety, providing a reassuring presence throughout the festivities.

“It was a fun-filled day for everyone. The rain never dampened our spirits; if you weren’t getting wet outside, our host venue, the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club, kept everyone warm and dry,” SCF Co-Founder Christine Fitzgerald remarked. “Our sponsors provided hot beverages and treats, adding to the sense of camaraderie. All attendees enjoyed engaging in raffles and games, fostering a sense of community spirit.”

Participants earned two hours of community service for taking the plunge, highlighting the event’s dual purpose of charity and camaraderie.
Looking ahead, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation eagerly anticipates an even larger turnout in 2025. With beloved mascots such as SCF’s Lenny the Bull, Paulie the Polar Bear, and Safety Swim’s seal Splash poised to welcome attendees, the stage is set for yet another memorable plunge in support of a worthy cause.

For more information on the Smithtown Children’s Foundation, please visit:

About Smithtown Children’s Foundation

The Smithtown Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of families in crisis within the Smithtown community. Through fundraising events and community support, SCF provides financial assistance, educational resources, and vital services to those facing challenges.

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