Essex Brave Planned Parenthood supporters took their first dive of the season into Lake Champlain on Sunday, April 7.
With temperatures in the mid 40s and strong winds, the Spring Plungers walked into the water with smiles on their faces to raise money for the Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, which provides healthcare services to men and women in Essex County and throughout the region.
Linda Scharf said through fundraising of the divers and other friends of Planned Parenthood, they raised $3,300, and they have raised $13,325 since its inception in 2010, including the April 7 dive.
“It’s a really fun event to get right into spring,” said Scharf.
Scharf and other members of the Mohawk Hudson branch of Planned Parenthood travelled from as far away as Schenectady to brave the chilly waters and meet with their local healthcare partners in the North Country.
With the 20 jumpers, there were nearly 50 people on the shore to cheer on the swimmers and support Planned Parenthood.
Contributions help support cancer screenings, annual exams, STD and HIV tests, and other basic health care services provided by Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson to hundreds of women and men in Essex County each year. Polar Plunge donations support free, confidential services for victims of sexual assault and their families.
At the past year’s event, protestors attended the dive. Scharf said some traveled nearly as far as they did to attend the event. With the protestors missing, Scharf said everyone was able to stay positive in support of the group.
“For many people, our healthcare facilities are their only way to receive their regular health screenings,” said Scharf. “The money we raise can help people who otherwise can’t afford the co-pay. People hear Planned Parenthood and sometimes only think of birth control, but we are a healthcare facility and we want to make sure everyone who needs our services can get them. We couldn’t do that without the help of our supporters.”
For more information, visit www.plannedparenthood.org/ppmh to pledge for your favorite plunger, how-to-plunge survival tips, and other information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 374-5353, ext 218.
“We’re still accepting donations,” said Scharf.
To give a donation checks can be made payable to: Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (or PPMH) and sent to Mail to: Polar Plunge at PPMH, 1040 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307.