Plungers defy freezing weather for good cause

Danny Waleski, of Brick, dressed in a polar bear suit to lead the plungers into the ocean during the John Sentner Memorial Plunge in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ on 2/9/19.g the plungers into the ocean. The John Sentner Memorial Plunge in Point Pleasant Beach, Saturday, Feb 9. [\[PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Plungers braved the sub-freezing temperatures and a strong north wind for the twelfth annual John Sentner Memorial Plunge at Martell’s Tiki Bar on Saturday morning.

Hundreds of swimmers lined the beach at noon to jump into the Atlantic Ocean to raise funds for Elks Camp Moore, a sleepaway camp in Haskell for children with special needs.

According to polar plunge organizer Rich Bard, the participation this year was fantastic both in turnout and in fundraising.

“This is our twelfth year. The turnout has been exceptional, it looks bigger than last year,” he said.

“We’re probably getting to towards over a million and half dollars that we’ve raised over these years,” he said Feb. 9.

Last year, the event raised $80,000 for the camp. This year, Mr. Bard said, they are aiming for $100,000, although as of right now the funds raised are still being counted.

The event began as the Miracle Plunge, but has been renamed for John Sentner, a Wall resident and former Elks Club president, after he passed in 2012.

Amy Sentner, his daughter, attends the plunge every year and said she loves seeing the event continue in remembrance of her father.

“It’s very humbling to see that people have kept this going six years after his passing,” she said.

“I feel like we’ve now surpassed what I’d ever thought we’d reach.”

“Special children had a special place in his heart. The smiles he could put on [Camp Moore kids’] faces was an amazing feat for him,” Ms. Sentner said.

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.