April showers bring May flowers. But, they also bring pretty cold water.
On May 1, with the ocean temperature at a brisk 54 degrees, about 60 brave souls took part in something that would be common for July 1. These locals with ‘pink fever,’ plunged into the Atlantic at 5:30pm on Sunday in order to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
These plungers took part in Paint the Town Pink, a week-long program hosted by Riverview Medical Center to raise funds and promote awareness for breast cancer.
The children partaking in the event thought it was exciting, however, some of the adults couldn’t help but feel nervous.
Karen Flood took the plunge alongside her husband and four children.
“I am thinking I am crazy,” she said. “But I’ve just been praying for warm weather.”
With a spring sea breeze, attendees were freezing even before they entered the cold water. But still, Flood remained hopeful.
“I figured, the people with me are under four feet tall. How deep could I possibly go?” she joked.
The plunge, completely organized by a crew labeled as the “Pink Beach Committee,” is the first of its kind in the area.
“We thought; ‘we’ve got a beach, why not use it?,’” Kim Pierson, member of the Pink Beach Committee, said in an interview.
At $30 for adults and $15 for children, the Pink Plunge will raise a hefty amount of funds to support free mammograms.
“We did this to support Paint the Town Pink. Both my mother and mother in law are breast cancer survivors, so the topic hits close to home,” Flood said.
Despite the serious undertone and breezy weather, guests seemed to enjoy every minute of the event, including the frosty ice sculptures by Jimmy Chiappa of Jimmy’s Artistic Creations. Chiappa, who has created pieces for a variety of clients, including the New York Giants and the Sopranos, enjoys attending events like this.
“I consider myself to be a lucky guy,” he said. “And that’s why I like to give back,”
This mentality, which seems to be common amongst the sponsors, is a big reason why the program has become so successful. This triumph has allowed Paint the Town Pink, starting solely in Red Bank, to expand to places like Monmouth Beach and Fair Haven, which joined in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
When asked the difference between the towns, Pierson replied. “I should probably have some witty response to this, but I don’t. We’re all just working for the same great cause.”
For more information on the Paint the Town pink events, please visit www.paintthetownpink.com.