MANASQUAN — A blanket of white covering the beachfront was a welcome sight for the hundreds who came to the borough Saturday afternoon to make a splash in the chilly waters of the Atlantic to support and enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.
The 12th Annual LADACIN Plunge was held on the Main Beach in Manasquan Jan. 18, where hundreds of individuals, family, friends and community members from near and far braced the inclement weather to support the nonprofit network’s educational, therapeutic, social, residential and support services for more than 3,500 infants, children and adults with complex physical and developmental disabilities or delays living in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
“This is just an amazing event and now this is the first time it has snowed so this is exciting,” Executive Director Patricia Carlesimo said. “It is a great turnout and it never ceases to amaze me that people pay to jump into the ocean in mid-January, but they do it for our benefit.
“It is amazing and just every year we have new participants and it numbers around 200 plungers but we always bring in new people which is nice and coming into it we raised about $40,000 before today in sponsorships and by the plungers who have their fundraising pages so it is a unique effort and we are just so thrilled and humbled by everybody’s support.”
Since the inaugural plunge, which attracts upwards of 1,000 spectators who came out to donate and enjoy the plunge, the event has raised $904,780, which has been used to meet LADACIN’s greatest need.
Over the past several years the proceeds have helped fund adult programs; occupational, physical and speech therapies; and critical repairs and improvements in the network’s residences.
“We are growing as an organization and we provide services from [infancy] all the way up to 86 years old so we certainly do have lifetime services and this is one of our fundraising events and it is one of our most successful ones,” Ms. Carlesimo said. “It is a one day and it is amazingly successful.”
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