A Recap: Sons of Ireland 2013 Polar Bear Plunge
The 2013 Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge is now officially history.
Last Wednesday, I took a drive out to Rumeson, New Jersey, where the SOI presented checks of the money they to the charities that supported the Plunge this year: Lt. Dennis Zilinski II Memorial Fund, Impact Oasis, Providence Medical Clinic, Horizons National and, a new one this year, Sea Bright Rising.
It was fun for me to finally get to the check presentations. Usually, I’m unavailable because of work or travel. This year though, I was thrilled to tell Christine Burke Eskwitt, who does public relations for the event, that I’d be able to make it. It puts a nice cap on the whole project – from getting that email from the Christine and the SOI asking if I’ll be available, to standing on the windy Asbury Park boardwalk waiting to get into the water, to see the charities that the SOI help with this event.
This year was a special Polar Bear Plunge. After everything everyone along the Jersey shore went through – and are still going through – after Hurricane Sandy, there was even a question as to whether the Plunge would happen this year in Asbury Park. Though not hit as hard as some towns, the AP Boardwalk did suffer extensive damage (though they announced recently it would be completelyopen on May 18). Still, the SOI and Christine were determined. The plunge must go on. And it’s good they were, too, as they raised a good deal of money to help these very worthy charities and the work they do.
Especially the group at Sea Bright Rising. I’ll always have a little place in my heart for the town of Sea Bright. It was on a cold, windy March night back in 2000 that I met my wife at a little seaside bar called The Tradewinds. We danced togeter to the house band, Brian Kirk and the Jirks, and as the lights came on, we exchanged phone numbers. With hands buried deep in our pockets, I walked her through the windy late-night air to her car. Courses had been charted, paths started upon….
(As an aside, Brian and his band played at the Plunge this year. As I was shooting the event, I happened to be shooting from the behind the stage. I had my camera up and didn’t notice he was standing right next to me. I had to shake his hand and tell him how I met my wife at one of his gigs. Probably a story he’s heard a million times in his career. Not only that, but he’s a guy who’s played on stage with Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven. That’s now my two degrees of separation to Bruce.)
And so, last week, it was nice to hear Chris Wood, co-owner of Woddy’s Tavern and a board member of Sea Bright Rising, thanks the SOI for the generous check and assure everyone the town, hard hit after Sandy, will be back. All of the charities showed this same passion to help revitalize the local community and continue their great work.
After all the checks had been presented, and after I gave each of the SOI and Christine a print of the group shot above, she took the opportunity to show all present the video, below, that I put together. Everyone had some laughs, and it was very well-received. For a short time, anyway, this Polish-Solvak boy was an honorary Son of Ireland.
Jersey Strong indeed.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved 2013