By Michael Scro
The Town of Huntington hosted its 3rd annual Polar Plunge event at Frank P. Petrone Crab Meadow Beach on Sunday, Dec. 10, when well over 100 participants bravely made their way into the frigid water for a worthy cause, helping to raise more than $22,000 for Special Olympic athletes.
With temperatures unseasonably warm — at high 40s, low 50s — on the cloudy December morning, the water was somewhat more tolerable but still sent most plungers into shivers and cold shock as soon as they hit the water.
Town of Huntington Councilman Dave Bennardo (R) thanked everyone for attending, including students from neighboring schools such as Elwood, South Huntington and Northport, highlighting “the real stars of the show being our friends from the Special Olympics.”
John Cronin and his father, Mark, from John’s Crazy Socks, a Farmingdale-based business that sells various themed socks and donates 5% of its earnings to the Special Olympics, co-hosted the event with the town. Bennardo also pointed out that John Cronin has done 10 Polar Plunges, prompting a round of applause.
“John is an inspiration,” Bennardo said. “If he can do all the great things he’s done, we can certainly plunge in the water once for our Special Olympic friends,” adding, “Today, we put aside differences and different sides of the aisle and focus on something that has no downside — taking care of people we love.”
With John Cronin by his father’s side, Mark asked if he was ready to take another plunge, to which he happily replied, “I was born ready.” John and his father also handed participants polar bear-themed socks to help keep them warm after the plunge.