Plunge supports camp for children with special needs

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[Participants head for the surf in Saturday’s John Sentner Memorial Plunge in Point Pleasant Beach. The event was presented by the New Jersey Elks. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — On an unseasonably mild February day, plungers from all over the state came to Point Pleasant to jump in the ocean for a good cause.

Saturday, Feb. 10, marked the 11th annual year of the New Jersey Elks John Sentner Memorial Plunge at Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach.

A little before noon, spectators and plungers gathered at the shoreline in anticipation of diving into the 41-degree water. Leading off with a prayer and a 10-second countdown, plungers, clad in everything from shark hats to evening gowns, raced into the water and back out again, all for charity.

“I feel great, actually. I said I didn’t think it was as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’m a little tingly all over, but yeah, it’s pretty good,” Geri Ann Bujnowski, of Springfield, said upon returning to shore.

The plunge was founded by John Sentner, a former president of the NJ Elks Association and Wall Township resident who died in 2012. The event is now sponsored by the Southeast District Elks.

All proceeds from the plunge go to benefit Elks Camp Moore, a summer camp in the Ramapo Mountains for children with special needs. The camp is entirely funded by the Elks, according to Peggy Berry, chair of the John Sentner Memorial Plunge Committee.

“It’s for special kids. The parents get a week break, it’s all paid for by the Elks, it’s one-on-one counseling,” Ms. Berry said.

The camp also offers respite weekends and a one-week program for adults, she said.

For more on this story, read read next week's edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.