December 15, 2008
It’s, once again, that time of year. No, it’s not the holiday season I’m talking about. It’s that time of year when I attempt to recruit a number of you to join me in January in jumping into Long Island Sound. “Why would you do something that stupid?” you may ask if you have never done this. If you have, you are probably thinking right now “I was dreading this letter!” Let’s start with a brief history of the event. In 2005 when the Tsunami hit the south pacific, I thought that we could use the Plunge as a way to raise charitable funds for the American Red Cross, which we did quite well. In fact, that year, we organized simultaneous Plunges in Cleveland, New Mexico, and California. In 2006, we continued this terrific annual event, but decided to make it beneficial to someone closer to home. I wanted those that donated to see directly where their generous funds were going. We raised money for a young boy battling cystic fibrosis. The funds we raised helped offset some of his extensive hospital bills and paid for a well needed vacation to Disney. How cool is that! In 2006, we continued the trend of helping children directly in need by donating funds to a family with overwhelming hospital bills due to testing and procedures with their two autistic kids. The money this time paid for the kids to attend a leading autism medical specialist in Boston, one that their insurance wouldn’t pick up. Last year, we raised funds for a Stratford single mother and her child who is battling a very rare illness called Kawasaki’s Disease. So that leads to this year.
Pam Morrow contacted me about having the Plunge for her neighbors Bob and Christine Greif. On May 11, 1997, Christine was hit by a drunk driver while on her bicycle preparing for a local triathlon. Christine sustained a traumatic brain injury that has left her with limited ability to walk, eat, speak or otherwise engage in normal daily activities.
Christine was a scholar athlete at Avon High School and then at Dickinson College where she majored in English. Christine was the recipient of the Trinity Club Book Award in her junior year for her scholastic achievement and service to the community.
More than ten years since her injury, Christine continues to suffer the severe effects of the brain injury which have made daily functioning incredibly difficult. Christine has persevered with the help and generosity of family, friends, church and community. Insurance companies have given up on Christine making funding of her care extremely challenging.
Our goal is to raise awareness and to generate some charitable funds to help offset some of the expenses that Christine has incurred. The thought of asking people to donate money is difficult enough without considering this financial crisis we are all undergoing. This is also a time of year where it’s important for us all to realize just how fortunate we are in the big picture.
In the four years that we have done the Plunge, we have raised quite a bit of cash, thanks to all of you who have contributed and/or participated. One of my favorite things about the Plunge is the way that it makes those attending smile – even those of us that are stupid enough to Plunge.
Here is the official information on the upcoming Plunge for Christine Grief’s fight against her severe debilitating injuries:
When: January 3, 2009
Time: 2:30 pm!!! High tide is predicted at 3:44pm so we are plunging in the afternoon this year. I will provide coffee and hot chocolate.
Where: Southport Beach on Pequot/Beachside Avenue (Exit 18 or 19 off i95)
Even if you are not plunging, please come down, support the event and watch us plunge, even if it’s only me.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning on being there so I have an idea of a head count.
Each plunger should make an effort to raise $100 to be donated to “Team Christine Greif Fund”. You can send checks to me, bring them with you to the plunge, or donate through paypal at http://www.hodska.com/ . If you donate through paypal, please send me an email informing me of this so I can then keep track of each individual donation for Christine.
Please forward this on to family, friends or any one you think you can sucker into plunging.
***The beach could be rocky and/or have sharp shells. I advise you to wear an old pair of sneakers during the plunge.
***Those plunging are doing so at their own risk. If you have any physical ailments such as an existing cardiac condition, asthma, weak immune system, or anything else that may be effected by this event, please come to watch, but its best that you do not plunge.
Thanks everyone! What better way to start the New Year than doing something good for others, and waking up the system!
Happy Holidays and here’s to an exciting and adventurous New Year! See you at the Beach January 3rd.