Every winter around Super Bowl Sunday, hundreds of people flock to the Hudson River to watch a bunch of people run into the freezing cold water. And every year for 13 years, the funds raised at this event are used to help save the life of one or two young children in North Rockland.
This year it’s going be a little bit of a different cause.
The Stony Point Seals will again be hosting the 2013 Polar Plunge this Sunday, February 3, located near the end of Main Street at the Stony Point Seawall. But because of the damage created by Superstorm Sandy in late October of 2013, the Seals have decided to dedicate the proceeds from this year’s cause to the families that were seriously affected by the storm.
The idea came on the heels of the massive grassroots community effort that followed the Superstorm. The North Rockland Community Facebook Group (www.northrocklandcommunity.com), with approximately 2500 members, was the main communications portal in helping families that needed assistance at the height of the disaster. The North Rockland Business Alliance launched a website, (www.helpnorthrockland.org) to raise money. With the help of a former resident, Alison Bimbo, they raised nearly $30,000. The NRBA subsequently distributed the monies to over 60 families, in the form of $200, $350 and $500 stipends.
The funds are nearly depleted, but according to the NRBA Volunteers, there are many more families left on the list that have received nothing. Once the Polar Plunge is completed, the NRBA intends to work with the Seals to identify any families that still are in need of funding.
As usual, the event organizers have raised the bar again, to make the accommodations and entertainment even more pleasant for the attendees and volunteers. In addition to the heated tents for the plunge participants, a DJ and grandstand, the rock band Kings of Kaos will be playing from 11 am to 11:30 a.m., in the form of classics such as Sweet Home Alabama and Rock and Roll.
The annual motorcycle ride-through will start at Babe’s Bar and Grill in West Haverstraw at approximately 11:15 am, and pass in front of the grandstand just before the eager participants are about to head into the Hudson River.
The Stony Point Seals have been organizing the Polar Plunge for 14 years. It started out with several friends who got together for a friendly football game on Super Bowl Sunday in 2000. One of the participants, Andy Huber, convinced others to jump in the Hudson River. After breaking through the ice that had formed and jumping in, Huber, John Corcoran, John Fox and Chris Bryceland decided to name their group the Stony Point Seals. Andy’s sister Karen suggested that the group raise money for neighborhood children in need. By 2003, over 50 plunge participants were involved in the effort. Since then it has grown steadily in attendance and fundraising capability.
In January 2001, the fundraiser was done for Michael Sparta, a little boy from Stony Point who has cerebral palsy. In 2002, the Polar Plunge was done for little Emily Kreger, also a North Rockland resident who was diagnosed with brain cancer. In 2003, the Seals jumped in for three-year old Sarah Martin who had been in a terrible lawn mower accident. Last year’s plunge benefitted the family of Brandon Hernandez, a young boy who is afflicted with several conditions, including a heart defect and a disorder known as Noonan Syndrome.
The Stony Point Seals have a lot of support within the community. The Stony Point Police Department, Wayne Hose Company, the Stony Point Ambulance Corp. and the North Rockland Business Alliance have been there to help in any way they could. The Stony Point Seals will again be joined by the Nam Knights of America, MC – Hudson Valley Chapter, a motorcycle club comprised mostly of veterans and law enforcement personnel dedicated to raising money for worthy causes. The Seals stated that they are very happy to be joined with an organization that has done so much for their community.
This year the Seals added new amenities and promotional materials to their fundraising efforts. Tom Ossa of Rockland Web Design, directed his development team to add an online raffle ticketing system (registration now closed) to the website they created for the Seals two years ago. Long sleeve T-Shirts for the event are also available for a $20 donation.
To participate in the plunge, please go to www.stonypointseals.com to learn more information, donate online or raise money for the families affected by Superstorm Sandy. If you plan to attend please be on site no later than 10:45 am on Sunday February 3rd, as the roads will be difficult to traverse as crowds begin to assemble. The plunge will occur at 12 noon.
Three Ways to Get Involved in Seals Polar Plunge:
Go to www.stonypointseals.com and do one or more of the following:
– Donate online using PayPal
– Download sponsor form to participate in plunge
– Share the event information on Facebook, Twitter
Do you have comments or questions on our organization?
Stony Point Seals Inc.
PO Box 654
Stony Point , NY 10980
Contact the Stony Point Seals at:
Mike Lydon 845 304-7192
John Corcoran 845-729-1351