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Councilman Dave Bennardo Sponsors Huntington Polar Plunge

By Maureen Daly


Over 200 people dove into the icy waters off Crab Meadow Beach last weekend to participate in the annual Huntington Polar Plunge for a very worthy cause. The funds raised by the Polar Plunge were donated to the Special Olympics of New York.


Town Councilman Dr. Dave Bennardo (R) sponsored and emceed the event – and even took the frigid plunge himself.


Bennardo thanked everyone for attending, including students from neighboring schools such as Elwood, South Huntington and Northport, and praised highlighting “the real stars of the show - our friends from the Special Olympics.”


The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising event for Special Olympics New York. It is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, schools and businesses to support the Special Olympics’ New York athletes by jumping into frigid bodies of water across New York State.


This year participants took part in the “Cool School Challenge” - a friendly competition between local schools which are encouraged to create a team of “Plungers” and join “the coolest event” around.


The school team that raised the most money for the Plunge was named the Cool School Champion for 2023, receiving a traveling trophy, school logo on the back of next year’s sweatshirts, a Pizza Party, & ultimate bragging rights. This year’s Cool Schools was John Glenn High School Raising over $5,700.


The event was a great success, raising over $24,000 with donations still coming in.


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.


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.”


Participants were given socks from John’s Crazy Socks featuring polar bears, while Mac’s Snack Shack provided them with tasty goodies.


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