Hingham Residents Among the Brave Souls Participating in Last Weekend’s Nantasket Polar Plunge

Photos courtesy of the Nantasket Polar Plunge

March 1, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer

For more than 20 years, Nantasket Beach has been one of the many locations hosting "plungers" willing to brave often-frigid temperatures to participate in the annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser, including some Hingham residents. The latest event took place last Saturday, Feb. 26.

In order to join the effort, individuals or teams collect pledges from friends, family members, and colleagues to reserve their spot in the event.

"Participants fundraise $100 or more for Special Olympics Massachusetts and run/plunge into the cold ocean waters in the middle of the winter," Stephanie Esposito -- who oversees the event -- told the Hingham Anchor. "We’ve raised millions of dollars through the Polar Plunge over the years. Nantasket Beach is our longest-standing Plunge event, with about 10 other locations hosting one this year."  Besides the actual plunge, the Nantasket event also features a costume contest.

There were about 250 participants in this year's Nantasket Plunge, which raised $138,000 of the $575,000 fundraising goal. "We expect that number to continue climbing as people send post-plunge donations," according to Esposito. "Our Plunge at Nantasket Beach is so special because it brings together some of our longest-standing plunge teams -- including Moynagh’s Tavern from Worcester and the South Shore Mariners." The SSM team includes some Cohasset residents and is a member of the Special Olympics program in Scituate.

Moynagh’s raised $40,000 this year – the top fundraising team of the weekend – and the South Shore Mariners aren’t far behind as the number two fundraising team at $28,000, according to Esposito.

"The South Shore Mariners have been plunging with us for over 18 years, and Moynagh’s is just a year or two behind them," Esposito said. "They’ve developed a friendly rivalry over the years, so it was amazing to be able to bring them back together after two years apart."

Proceeds raised help provide year-round sports training and competition for Special Olympics athletes, helping them achieve their goals, live healthier lives, and to have a sense of inclusion in the community.

"The Plunge is a huge part of our fundraising efforts as an organization every year – we are on track to raise $575,000 this winter, which will go a long way toward ensuring that we can bring recreational and competitive sports programming to more than 9,000 athletes this year," Esposito said.

The Polar Plunge is a trademarked signature winter fundraising event of Special Olympics globally. In Massachusetts, an average of about 1,700 people plunge for Special Olympics annually.

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