Nearly 300 people took the plunge into the 34 degree surf to benefit Long Beach Island's St. Francis Community Center and the Southern Regional High School swim teams on Sunday afternoon in Brant Beach.
Many shivered in the swimsuits, while others got a bit more creative in their costuming. Like John Tanzini, 33, of Manahawkin, who donned a cape and crown to look more like a popular burger chain mascot than a swimmer.
There were also super heroes and heroines, a Mardi Gras queen and a quintet of teenage toddlers, complete with their pacifiers. Mrs. New Jersey, actually Cathy Ribinsky, 94, and Miss LBI, her 9-year-old great-granddaughter, Sarah Curtis, took the plunge together.
Ribinsky said she was one of the original organizers and had taken the plunge all ten years. Also going in were two of St Francis’s three priests, Fathers John Frabes and Kevin Daly.
Father Jim Scullion remained on shore as a commentator with Long Beach Township Beach Patrol Supervisor Don Myers. Scullion also joked that one of the priests needed to remain dry in case someone needed “last rites” after diving into the frigid water.
A final total as the how much was raised was not available at press time. In addition to several business and corporate sponsors, individual plungers had gotten people to sponsor their feat.