Community members are invited to take a chilly dip for a good cause Saturday morning as part of the Westhampton Beach Student Government’s inaugural Polar Bear Plunge at Rogers Beach.
The event will raise funds for the Church of the Immaculate Conception’s Adopt-A-Family program, which brings the community together to support local families in need each holiday season.
Emma Galasso, a junior at the high school and president of the Student Government, said the students plan to use the funds they raise to buy gifts that will brighten the holidays for two large families that they have “adopted” on behalf of the school through the Quiogue church.
With water temperatures expected to dip below 50 degrees, and the air temperature reaching a predicted high of about 40 degrees, the event is sure to be a chilly one, but heartwarming nonetheless.
Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $15 from sponsors if they register prior to Saturday’s plunge, and $20 if they register on the day of the event. In-person registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Rogers Beach on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach Village, with the plungers making their dip at 11 a.m.
Sponsorship forms are available at www.pdfcast.org/pdf/pbplunge2, or can be picked up at the high school. Participants must also sign a waiver release form, available at www.pdfcast.org/pdf/pbplunge1. Anyone under 18 years old must also have a parent sign their forms. The forms can be dropped off at the main office of the high school, or Room 204, and they can also be turned in at the event.
High School Principal Chris Herr said there will be lifeguards and emergency medical technicians on hand for the plunge.
Emma explained that Student Government members participate in the Adopt-A-Family program each year, and this year they hope to be able to provide their two assigned families with everything on their respective wish lists. The group also held an ice cream social on Monday in the high school cafeteria and will host another today, Thursday, December 12, to raise additional funds.
“We’re very excited to be supporting this cause,” Emma said.
Brian Schwartz, a senior at Westhampton Beach High School and vice president of the student government, said his family participates every year in the Southampton Polar Bear Plunge that benefits Human Resources of the Hamptons. He said he thought it would be fun to host Westhampton Beach’s own event to support Adopt-A-Family and as a nice warm-up for the Southampton plunge, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 14, at Coopers Beach in Southampton Village.
The Student Government is busy recruiting high school students, community members and teachers. Though his twin brother, Jeremy, and their father, Chuck, are committed to taking the dip, Brian still warming up to the idea, he said.
“I probably will,” he added with a grin.