Interview with the founders of the event – “a Leap of Heart for a Good Cause”
STONY POINT, NY – This Sunday before the big game, the Stony Point Seawall will transform into a bustling hub of community spirit and generosity as over 200 brave souls take a leap into the icy Hudson River, not just for the thrill of it, but for a cause that touches hearts. Celebrating its 25th year, the Stony Point Seals Plunge has become more than an event; it’s a movement that brings together individuals from all walks of life to support local children facing high medical bills.
The tradition began with a simple dare among friends – Michael Lydon, Andy Huber, Chris Bryceland, John Fox, and John Corcoran – following their Super Bowl Sunday football game. What started as a moment of post-game fun quickly evolved into a significant community event. “Four of us jumped in the water with our shorts on,” recalled Corcoran. The initial shock of the icy river was just the beginning of a journey that would see the Stony Point Seals raising nearly $900,000 over the years for 38 children in need within the Rockland community.
The event has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings when the police were called under the impression that the plungers were endangering themselves. Now, it symbolizes a collective effort of strength, warmth, and unity. “It’s an awesome cause; it’s always sick kids, and all of the money goes right to the kids,” the founders proudly state, emphasizing the event’s core mission of direct support to those in need.
This year, the plunge is dedicated to helping Elijah Torres, aged 5, and Kayden Germosen, aged 3, two children from northern Rockland County facing challenging medical conditions. The selection of recipients each year is a community effort, reflecting the deep compassion and solidarity of the Stony Point and broader Rockland area. “It’s very hard to say no. And sadly there’s no shortage,” Corcoran notes on the selection process, underlining the ongoing need for support.
The Stony Point Seals’ plunge is not just about the jump; it’s a full-fledged community event that sees neighbors, friends, and even individuals from afar coming together to contribute in any way they can. From selling t-shirts and raffle tickets to manning the sign-in tables and setting up music, everyone plays a part. “This is something that’s good about our country, our state, our county,” Corcoran remarked, highlighting the widespread community support that has been instrumental in the event’s success.
Corcoran, a Deputy Chief in the FDNY who grew up swimming in the Hudson River, brings together colleagues and friends from the city to join in the plunge. “It’s a tradition. They come up with their families, they jump, and then they go home and get ready for the game. It’s a way to say, ‘I did something good today,'” he says, encapsulating the spirit of the event.
As the Stony Point Seals gear up for their 25th annual plunge, they extend an invitation to everyone to join them in making a difference. Whether you’re diving into the cold waters or supporting from the shore, your presence contributes to a legacy of kindness and community support. “You don’t have to go in the water,” encourages Corcoran, “But I guarantee you, if you come down for our 25th anniversary event, you’ll come back next year.”
For those interested in being part of this year’s Super Plunge, remember to arrive early and consider taking a shuttle due to limited parking. Every bit of support counts, from donations to cheering on the plungers. For more information on how you can participate or contribute, visit the Stony Point Seals website and become part of a tradition that not only warms the heart but makes a tangible difference in the lives of children in need.