The Stony Point Seals are preparing for the 17th annual Polar Plunge on Superbowl Sunday, February 7, 2016. The show begins with music and food at 10 a.m. Seals usually begin plunging into the Hudson between 1 and 1:30 p.m.
Every year hundreds of the so-called “seals” jump into the icy Hudson in charitable support of selected children suffering from serious illness. It was a tradition started by the original seals, a group of Hoover and Roosevelt Place friends, who took the plunge in February 2000 at the urging of Andy Huber.
The original seals wives questioned their husbands’ sanity as the men cut away a block of ice from the river to make room for their grand entrance. Andy Huber’s sister said, hey, if you guys are going to make a spectacle of yourselves, you may as well do it for a cause. Thus the Polar Plunge charity event was conceived and launched the following year in 2001, growing rapidly ever since.
This year 300 plungers are expected, with a thousand more spectators cheering them on. If the weather is mild enough, enough fence-sitters might join the diehard crowd to set a record number for the plunge.
This year’s charitable recipients are Gabrielle DiCarlo and Vincent Forzono. Gabrielle was diagnosed with cancer when she was in kindergarten. After countless surgeries and medical procedures, Gabby was doing well and in remission for almost two years. This past July, a tumor was found in Gabby’s brain and as a result Gabby has had to undergo several more procedures.
Ten-year-old Vincent Forzono has a rare medical condition called Hydrocephalus that he was diagnosed with when he was only 2-years-old. This condition causes excessive fluid to build up in parts of his brain. Vincent has had to endure numerous surgeries because of his condition.
Generous donors are the key to the Seals’ success and make it possible for the Stony Point Seals to provide local individuals and families in need with assistance and critical services.
Last year over $30,000 was raised.
The Seals can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] You may donate online at www.stonypointseals.com.