"I took part in the Polar Plunge On New Year’s Day (along with my oldest daughter, Lexi, 20: younger daughter, Billie, 17, served as “official photographer” and organizer!)."
WAS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT?
"It was my first time participating in any sort of “polar plunge.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
"I loved the event, and feel that it barely scratched the surface as to how big it could be. I understand that similar “plunges” went on in Brigantine, Margate and other beach locations in the immediate area, but feel that this infrastructure was not taken full-advantage of. I have some definite ideas as to how this particular plunge could be both larger and more lucrative."
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT, WHO THE EVENT BENEFITTED AND WHAT YOUR VISION IS?
"The event benefitted MS. I have two dear friends, both young, in 40s and just turned 50, suffering from MS. I’ve seen the effects, read about the condition, and wanted to do something to start the new year to “pay it forward.” I also see permutations of a charity that my daughters and I launched in memory of my wife, “Have a Catch for Barb” — it is catch related, and I envision lots of catches prior to running into the ocean…"
"The icy waters were indeed freezing, unlike any cold I’ve ever felt. While not feeling my leg and feet for a bit, the thrill of the event and the adrenaline rush were quite exhilarating. I kept thinking, “If Washington and his troops could cross the Delaware, I could handle a quick dive into the ocean for charity!"
HAD YOU DONE ANY PRIOR TYPE OF FUNDRAISING FOR THIS ORGANIZATION?
"I’ve only donated small amounts of money to MS in the past; I hope to have the means to do more in the future."
ARE THERE ANY OTHER EVENTS COMING UP THAT YOU'D LIKE TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT?
"As mentioned, I am looking to take “Have a Catch for Barb,” the charity in memory of my wife, Barb, who passed at the way too young age of 49, and whose tagline is “Tossing Cancer Aside,” to a national level in the next 12 months. That is my passion — to help our family, and the thousands of others living thru the loss of a loved one, to cancer, or any ailment for that matter."
OBVIOUSLY A VERY PERSONAL ENDEAVOR FOR YOU, WHAT IS YOUR ROLE WITHIN THE CHARITY?
"I, along with my daughters, founded, and I serve as Executive Director of “Have a Catch for Barb.”
WHAT KIND OF FUNDRAISING EVENTS OR EFFORTS ARE GOING ON WITH YOUR CHARITY?
"There are a few online initiatives just beginning, via the sale of charity and celebrity merchandise, that is ongoing at both the website, www.haveacatchforbarb.org, and the Facebook page, “Have a Catch for Barb.” In addition, there will be a second Flyers Alumni Game in Warminster, PA in March to benefit the charity. We are also hoping that the 76ers basketball team, the NHL, and ESPN Radio make good on their offers to have some activity for the charity."
THAT SOUNDS VERY EXCITING! IF PEOPLE WISH TO FIND OUT MORE, GET IN TOUCH, OR
CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY OF DOING SO?
"I can be contacted directly at Eric Shipon, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Facebook or website listed above. My direct phone number is 267.886.7566. For photos from the event, there are a bunch on the Facebook pages of Kelly Green and Eric Shipon. The photographers were our kids, Billie Shipon, my daughter, and Maya Green, Kelly's daughter. They rocked it!
SO IS IT SAFE TO ASSUME THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE AGAIN DESPITE THE FRIGID CONDITIONS?
"I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. Great cause, great people. So yes, I'd do it again.