Cold plunge shows warm hearts for special needs kids

Scores brave the icy waters of Lake Mohawk


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Over 40 volunteers braved the icy waters of Lake Mohawk last Sunday Photos by Amy Shewchuk




  • EMS volunteers, on hand for safety concerns, have a little fun




  • Warm-hearted 'polar bears' enab le kids to attend Camp Moore, a recreational facility for special needs children




  • Northern Hills Academy staff, students and parents




By Amy Shewchuk

— Over 40 volunteers braved the icy-cold waters of Lake Mohawk this past Sunday to benefit the Sparta Elk’s Camp Moore, a state-run special needs camp located in Haskell, NJ.

The annual plunge, this year dubbed "Chillin' for the Children," sponsors 16 special needs children to go to Camp Moore for one week for free, which is a wonderful experience for the children as well as offering the parents a respite.

This yearly charity event is sponsored by the Sparta Elk’s Club along with volunteers from the Kiwanis Club, VFW and Sparta Police, Fire and Ambulance Departments. “Plungers” included Councilman Gil Gibbs, a “plunger” for the past 6 years, Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto, Police Lieutenant John Lamon, Pete Litchfield of the Sparta VFW, Afghanistan War veteran Michael Krapels, and Al Lenox of Picatinny Arsenal, among many others.

Jennifer Cook, principal, and Andrea Romano, superintendent of Northern Hills Academy, a public special needs school through the Sussex County Educational Services also plunged for the cause along with parents, teachers and students from the school, all donning festive wigs, hats and clothes.

The Sparta Fire Department and Ambulance Squad volunteered their time, ensuring everyone’s safety.

“We do this for the purpose of putting smiles on the faces of the kids and giving them a week of camping and fun activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, a playground and water park, as well as day trips to the beach," said Anthony Alfonso of Camp Moore. "It also offers the parents of the children a bit of a break, as caring for them is a 24/7 labor of love,” said Anthony Alfonso of Camp Moore.

Lieutenant Lamon, who works with several community-based programs such as the Junior Police Academy and tours for Girl Scouts, Daisies and Boy Scouts, had no regrets about weathering the cold for the worthy cause.

“I’d do it again!” he said.

The Polar Plunge also benefits Sparta TOPSoccer, a 6-week program for special needs children. Moreover, the Elks Club puts on a Halloween Party for the children and the Kiwanis Club has a barbecue in the Fall, all made possible by donations and volunteers.

This year "the Plunge" raised over $7000. Donations are still being accepted at www.spartaelks.org under the Charity Events tab.






Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Fond memories of Lake Mohawk Pool
By Laurie Gordon
— Greg Leo, of Sparta, has been the General Manager of the Lake Mohawk Pool since 2012. There is now a...

Read more »
Image

Knights and faeries roman the woods of Sparta
by Mandy Coriston
— Last year, James Kimball, the owner of the Camp Sacajawea property on White Lake Road in Sparta, had a crazy...

Read more »
Image

Competing bartenders shake it up at Mohawk House
BY AMY SHEWCHUK
— Local bartenders showcased their skills under some pressure this past Monday night at the Mohawk House, as...

Read more »
Image

Where in Sparta?
Do you know where this photo was taken? If so, go to www.spartaindependent.com, click on the Fun & Games tab and post your...
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Local News
Fond memories of Lake Mohawk Pool
  • Sep 19, 2018
Where in clues
Where in Sparta?
  • Sep 19, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Sparta, NJ