By Beth David, Editor
This year’s Fort Phoenix Polar Plunge had 150 registered plungers, and hundreds more who turned out on a relatively mild New Year’s Day to watch the brave ones plunge into the chilly Atlantic at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven. The annual event is held in honor of domestic violence victims. Proceeds benefit Dollars for Scholars. Registration is free, t-shirts cost $25.
Jordan Torres of New Bedford took the plunge in response to losing a bet. Dressed in a very elegant gown, the young man also carried a large banner that read: “I suck at Fantasy Football.”
He was there, for his very first plunge, with a group of friends who decidedly did NOT plunge, because they did not come in dead last in fantasy football.
“I’m excited,” said Mr. Torres, adding that it is for a good cause.
He said his banner (and outfit, no doubt), made people laugh.
“So it feels good.”
Of course, that was before he actually jumped into the water. Unfortunately, the Neighb News was not able to catch up to him after he plunged.
Air temperature was around 39 degrees, but a stiff wind made it feel much colder. Water temperature was also 39 degrees.
Young pals Mason Demello and Jonathan Gibbs plunged, with Mr. Gibbs going in for the third time. He said he liked it because it’s fun.
His father Jon said his son likes to do crazy things.
Mason said he was plunging in honor of his cousin Mark Cormier, who was recently lost at sea aboard the F/V Leonardo in November.
Paul Motoso and Carmen Pollice said they plunged to support domestic violence victims, and they use the pictures working with veterans and especially women’s programs for veterans.
Jason Rutledge plunged with a group of at least seven friends who all seemed to point to each other as the reason why. Some have plunged for 10 years.
Carlos Fragata and Heather Frongillo plunged as Neptune (with Trident of course) and a mermaid. Mr. Frongillo, who lives in Florida, plunged for the first time this year.
“It was colder, definitely,” she said, compared to Florida.
He said he wanted to plunge; she said she’d go with him.
She checked it out, saw there was a theme, “Under the Sea,” and… “ I was on it.”
Other costumes included lobsters, Dory from “Finding Dory,” and, of course, the Polar Bear himself.
According to a Facebook post by organizers, the states represented were California, Florida, Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts. East Camdon, England was represented by John, who took the plunge!
Massachusetts towns represented were: Acushnet, Dartmouth, E. Freetown, E. Taunton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Hopedale, Lakeville, Lexington, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, North Dartmouth, Plainfield, Plymouth, Pocasset, Raynham, Rochester, Rockland, Seekonk, Somerset, Springfield, Swansea, Taunton, Walpole, Wareham, Westport,
Youngest participant was 7 and the most senior participant was 68.
“A special shoutout to our registration crew: Helen Devo, Sue Jesus, Nancy Zuber, Kathy Knutsen, Carol Morton, Sarah Days-Merrill, Flo Days, and Stephen Days-Merrill. Thank you!” reads the post.
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Click here to download the entire 1/9/20 issue: 01-09-20 Plunge