SOUTHINGTON - Teams of community members, leaders and organizations will once again leap into the freezing waters of Camp Sloper’s pond Jan. 19.
Organizers hope to raise $5,000 for the local YMCA to provide scholarships to help children from less fortunate families attend the camp.
“Every kid deserves that opportunity and that is why I ask for your help each year,” said Mark Pooler, event organizer. “Hopefully you still remember the great times you had out at YMCA Camp Sloper and will consider a gift from the heart. That is the reason I plan to stay in the freezing cold water for 75 seconds again this year.”
Pooler said the 14th annual Sloper Plunge is just a few weeks away and will be held at 1 p.m. at YMCA Camp Sloper at 1000 East St.
“This year I am hoping to break the $5,000 mark again for my personal goal to help our overall goal of $50,000,” said Pooler. “As the past camp director of YMCA Camp Sloper for 20 years, I have seen firsthand how an experience at camp can improve a child’s life. They have the opportunity to make life-long friends, try new activities, develop leadership skills, be outside and active, and increase self-confidence can do so much for a young child or teen. These are the benefits that are delivered daily at YMCA Camp Sloper thanks to an amazing camp staff, cutting edge programming and a state of the art facility.”
Pooler said every child deserves this opportunity and encouraged people to sign up.
“By making a pledge today, you are helping to ensure we at the YMCA can provide this type of experience to families in need,” he said.
People can make a pledge for $25, $50, $100 or $1 per second Pooler remains in the water, totaling no more than $75. People can make a pledge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a check to Southington Community YMCA 29 High St., Southington, CT, 06489 c/o Mark Pooler.
People can also pledge online this year by visiting secure.givelively.org/donate/the-southington-cheshire-community-ymcas-inc/14th-annual-sloper-plunge/mark-pooler.
Pooler encouraged people to reach out to him for questions or if they wish to sign up as a plunger themselves. He also said that companies interested in sponsoring the event or matching a donation can contact him.
“We at the YMCA are looking forward to another great event,” he said. “Last year we raised more than $50,000 at this event and have set that number as our goal for 2019. Remember, every dollar raised goes to help provide children and teens a memorable summer camp experience at YMCA Camp Sloper so it truly is ‘for the kids.’”
Check-in and registration for the plungers will be at the YMCA’s main building at 29 High St. on Jan. 18 between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. or at YMCA Camp Sloper Jan. 19 at noon.
To participate in the plunge, people must be at least 18 years old and able to swim. They must have obtained sponsorships totaling a minimum of $100 per participant. They must also sign a waiver prior to taking the plunge at sccymca.org/sloperplunge.
All participants must pre-register with one of the team captains and turn in a pledge form and waiver form, available at sccymca.org/sloperplunge, to the YMCA at 29 High St. on Jan. 18 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or bring it with them on Sloper Plunge day at noon.
The following teams have signed up for the 2019 Sloper Plunge:
Team Southington YMCA: led by CEO Mark Pooler and YMCA Camp Sloper Outdoor Center Director Justin Hubeny
Team Cheshire YMCA: led by branch Executive Director Chrissy Cassesse
Team Southington Police: led by Officer Justin Burke
Team Southington Fire Department: led by Fire Inspector Bob Hunt
Team Board of Ed: led by Superintendent Tim Connellan, BOE Chairman Brian Goralski, Southington High School Principal Brian Stranieri and Southington High School Teacher Bob Lasbury
Team Southington Politicians: led by Town Councilor Tom Lombardi and former Town Councilor Al Natelli
Team Calvanese Foundation: led by foundation member Lauren Forgione
Team Southington: led by Assistant Town Planner David Lavallee and HR Manager Michelle Passamano
Team Milestones for Melanie: led by family member Lisa Rossini
Team Lake Compounce: led by Aquatic Manager Ciara Devaney
Team Jon’s Jumpers led by Hacah Boros and Rob Keene
Leaping Ladies: led by community leaders Dawn Pooler, Beth Connelly, Terri Connellan and Shannon Eterginio
2019 Feature Team: Southington High School football led by coach Mike Drury