For a group of NJIT fraternity brothers, winter this year turned out to be chillier than expected, but certainly more profitable.Ten NJIT students and an alum took the annual polar bear plunge for the Special Olympics in Seaside last month. All belonged to the Tau Epsilon Chapter of the NJIT social fraternity Tau Delta Phi. Ian Cooper, a native son of Point Pleasant, who knows something about Jersey Shore life, led the effort. Fraternity brothers from Ramapo College joined the fun and together the brothers raised almost $1900.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Cooper. “It definitely got your adrenaline running knowing you were about to jump into the freezing cold ocean. But at the same time, it was refreshing.” Thankfully the weather cooperated for the day of the big event. Students said skies were clear with an air temperature of 45 degrees and water temperature a few degrees below 38 degrees. None wore more than bathing suits.
Team members raised funds for the event by hosting tables in the NJIT Campus Center and collecting donations among friends and family. Each participant collected more than $100 to participate. NJIT plungers, along with Ramapo brethren, actually ran twice into the Atlantic Ocean. They joined more than 5,000 other participants.
Joining the fun with Cooper were John Addeo, Ocean; Brian Egger, Stirling; Anthony Krake, Whippany; Lee MacCullough, Wayside; Matt Manchester, Manchester; Brian Peterson, North Brunswick; Corey Robinson, Newark; Bruno Silva, Lakewood; Philip Skoblar, Ridgefield; Jason Walker, Oak Ridge.
Special Olympics New Jersey is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization that provides sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization operates on an annual budget primarily funded through individual, corporate, civic and foundation dollars that make up more than 98 percent of the annual operating budget.