Tuesday's Polar Bear Plunge to Honor Dave Whelan

More than 100 people have preregistered for the New Year's Day plunge, 11 a.m. Tuesday, at Fisherman's Beach on Humphrey Street.


Swampscott High swimmers and divers will be among the throng pounding over Fisherman's Beach sand and into its surf Tuesday morning at the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge.

Each year the Swampscott Yacht Club sponsors the plunge on behalf of a beneficiary. This year the beneficiary is the family of Dave Whelan, who served as Swampscott's town treasurer, School Committee chairman and as a warrior for equitable education funding. In 2012 Dave died of cancer.

Plunge organizer and School Committee member Jill Hartmann said more than 100 people preregistered for the 7th annual plunge.

"We've had a lot of community interest and people that want to come out to support Dave Whelan's family," she said. "He was a big part of this community. And it is a nice way to celebrate his life, while we ring in the new year."

Plunge regulars will include a large Devens Road contingent and a trolley full of people from Nahant.

Beachgoers will bask in sunshine and enjoy temperatures in the high 30s, if the weather forecast holds.

A and hot chocolate and coffee will warm the blood.

Some plungers plunge in costume. We've seen bears, mermaids and jesters go polar.

Registration begins at 10:15 at the Fish House, with the plunge following promptly at 11 a.m. T-shirts will be given to the first 150 participants to sign in.

Sponsor sheets are available SYC website:swampscottyachtclub.org, or by emailing Jill at sycpolarbearplunge@gmail.com

Anyone interested in simply making a donation can either mail a check directly to the SYC at 425 Humphrey St, Swampscott, MA 01907; or to the Jean Whelan Family Education Fund c/o Eastern Bank 405 Paradise Road, Swampscott, MA.

Dave grew up in Swampscott and is a 1975 graduate of Swampscott High School. He and his wife Jean raised two children who are both currently attending college. 

Past Polar Bear Plunge beneficiaries have included: The Friends of Swampscott Sailing, My Brother’s Table, The Jared Raymond and Jennifer Harris Scholarship Funds, The Legere Family Education Fund, Journeys of Hope, The Maureen Ingram Scholarship Fund, and the Swampscott Education Foundation. To date, the Swampscott Yacht Club has raised over $50,000 for local charities. 




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