Anticipation mounted as New Year's Day revelers arrived at Greenwich Point dressed in bathing suits, bathrobes and snowsuits.
Parents, teens, grandparents, and young children congregated in the sand for the inaugural Plunge for Kids to benefit Kids in Crisis.
The air temperature was 37°, but the water temperature was anyone's guess. As the clock drew near the noon hour, the crowd shivered through a group photo before finally lining up along the water's edge and shouting the 10-second countdown in unison.
It was all over in a minute (see video) as the crowd plowed across the sandbar, plunged into Long Island Sound and marked a hasty u-turn.
The event was organized and sponsored by longtime Greenwich resident, Angela Swift, who is a mother of three, a competitive runner and triathlete, and a local Realtor with Prudential.
After the plunge, Swift, dripping wet and shivering, grinned ear to ear as she and her husband estimated the crowd to number several hundred, if not a thousand strong. Indeed, the beach was as packed as a hot Saturday in July.
Though there was no fee to participate in the event, Plunge for Kids t-shirts provided by Rich Fulton at Chillybear – the pun is a bonus – were sold for $20. All proceeds will go to Kids in Crisis.
A few t-shirts remain available for a $20 donation. Contact Chillybear at (203) 622-7115 to inquire.
Kids in Crisis is Connecticut’s only free, round-the-clock agency providing emergency shelter, crisis counseling and community educational programs for children of all ages and families. The organization deals with domestic violence, mental health and family problems, substance abuse, economic difficulties and more.