Braving cold waters for an ALS fundraiser

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The 13th Annual Valentine Plunge raised money for the ALS Foundation. PHOTO BY STEVE WEXLER

MANASQUAN — Temperatures in the high 20s did not stop hundreds of participants from running into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday afternoon for the 13th annual Valentine Polar Plunge.

In fact, it was a record-high number of plungers — as over 700 participated, according to Jim O’Neill, chairman of the plunge.

Mr. O’Neill also said this year’s plunge raised over $300,000, bringing the 13-year total to just over $3 million raised for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS] patients and their families.

With a countdown from three minutes, plungers formed a line at the center of Manasquan’s Main Beach and prepared to get cold, in the name of charity.

“I never thought I was going to do a plunge in my life. It has never been on my bucket list,” said plunger Laura Klahre of Shrewsbury, who braved the cold alongside her mother, Becky.

The two plunged for Tom Klahre, Laura’s father and Becky’s husband. Tom, who was an observer at the event, has been diagnosed with ALS.

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

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