Shivering with only swim trunks on in 30-degree weather, I stood on the chilly beach in the icy wind right next to the freezing Long Island Sound. Eleven of my Weston High School soccer teammates, including my coach, were lined up beside me on either side, waiting for the signal to enter the frigid water.
After a few moments, the air horn sounded, giving us our cue. After one final breath, I braced myself and ran with my teammates and 60 other participants into the Long Island Sound to cheers from the parents and friends. Oh, don't worry. I had a reason for doing this. I promise!
For the past two weeks, my teammates and I have been raising money to help fund the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport. Our group raised over $2,400 in donations from our families and friends. Donors sponsored us to take the plunge into the Long Island Sound. Each participant was asked to raise at least $150, and our team of 12 soccer players and one coach managed to collect over $180 per person.
The Burroughs Community Center has been running "Freezin' For a Reason" for four years and has collected over $200,000. The charity was created in order to support the various services the community center provides for Bridgeport and the surrounding areas. These services include an after-school program for middle school students and a community garden for local families.
This has been the second year the Weston soccer team has participated in this event, but this year there was a little twist. Head coach Kevin Fitzsimmons promised any player on the soccer team a $10 donation in their name if they stayed in the Sound longer than he did. There were only two players who received this donation. I was not one of them. Sophomore Oliver Parker and eighth-grader Will Steinharter achieved this goal.
My teammates and I are very happy to have participated in this event. This community center does wonderful things for many deserving families and students, so it was worth a dip in the freezing sound to ensure that they are getting the services they need. Many people donated to this charity and over 80 people volunteered to take this "plunge." More donations and volunteers will be welcome at next year's swim. Hope to see you there!
Jared Weisman is a sophomore at Weston High School. He wrote this article for TheDailyWeston.com
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