SOUTHINGTON — While many were bundled up waiting for the snow on Saturday, over 200 people had something else in mind.
They participated in the 15th annual Sloper Plunge at YMCA Camp Sloper. Teams from Southington and Cheshire ignored the below freezing temperature of Sloper Pond and jumped in, raising nearly $70,000 to send children to camp during the summer.
“This particular event is to give scholarships back to kids whose parents can’t afford to send them to camp,” said Tabitha Stein, CFO of the Southington-Cheshire YMCA. “We evaluate who needs the help and we let them go to camp.”
Teams, who had to raise at least $100 in sponsorships per member, were made up of students, educators, athletes, local officials, police, firefighters and others.
One Southington team, representing Thalberg Elementary School, were jumping up and down while anxiously waiting for their turn to take the plunge.
“We’ve decided that it’s like Titanic: I jump, you jump,” said Nicola O’Rourke, who was participating for the second time with fellow team member Katie Reeves.
Two newcomers to Team Thalberg included Gabrielle Chabot and Emily Salerno, who were both “really excited” to join their co-workers.
“It’s definitely worth it for such a great cause,” said Chabot.
Another Southington team, representing the Board of Education, stood united and shaking by the fire after wading through the freezing water.
“We’re freezin’ for a reason,” said team member Angela McMinn.
“It’s so worth it and we’re all just so glad that we can be a part of this,” said team member and South End School Principal Erin Nattrass.