Tell people you'll be among the wild throng plunging into the bracing 40-degree surf at Fisherman's Beach on New Year's Day and, invariably, smiles wash over their faces, says Marianne McDermott.
Marianne, chairman of the Trustees of the Swampscott Public Library, will be taking the plunge Wednesday at 11 a.m. — right about high tide. She's happy to have the library tied to this quirky, community oriented event.
The 2014 Polar Bear Plunge, held by the Swampscott Yacht Club, will benefit the Swampscott Public Library and The Haven Project.
It's one of those signature Swampscott events, and for all ages.
Typically, a fire crackles in the center of beach, drawing a crowd. They breathe in the smokey smells and eye the harbor.
By the Fish House people fill cups with hot chocolate and coffee.
Plungers come in high spirits; some in bath robes or donning Happy New Year hats; and a few arrayed in pirate or polar bear costumes.
Swampscott Library Director Alyce Deveau will be there. Not among the bathers. But she'll be cheering them on.
Plunge proceeds will fund library improvements, the director said, among them new lights in the library's center room.
She, too, embraces the chance for the library to be a part of the community event.
The event binds three community resources: the library, Fisherman's Beach, and the Swampscott Yacht Club, said Marianne McDermott.
The community of plungers should have sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. Latest word is there won't be much of a wind.
Polar Bear Plunge registration begins New Year's Day at 10:15 a.m. at the Fish House, with the plunge following promptly at 11. Complimentary refreshments will be available and T-shirts will be given to the first 150 participants to sign in.
Click here to go to the Polar Bear Plunge page and download the pledge form.
Anyone interested in making a donation can mail a check directly to the SYC Fund at 425 Humphrey St, Swampscott, MA 01907.
Past Plunge beneficiaries have included: The Friends of Swampscott Sailing, My Brother’s Table, The Jared Raymond and Jennifer Harris Scholarship Funds, The Legere Family Education Fund, The Whelan Family Education Fund, Journeys of Hope, The Maureen Ingram Scholarship Fund, and the Swampscott Education Foundation. To date, we have raised over $60,000 for local charities.
For questions, contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org.