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Plunge for Hunger article

Date post:11-Jan-2017
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Hundreds Take the Plunge For a Good Cause

On Saturday February 6th at noon the mens rugby team co-hosted an event with the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic, Connecticut. The team partook in their 5th annual Plunge for Hunger to benefit the soup kitchen at Lauter Park with temperatures in the mid 50s. This just a day before the area was hit with a decent size snowstorm. Last years event got to experience a little snow fall, this year some would say it wasnt bad, unless you were the one going in the freezing waters. With the help of a snow blower and half a dozen Eastern Rugby members they shoveled the snow off the beach in order for the scene to be ready the next day. Some of the players were shoveling the snow even into the Natchaug River; some thought it would be best to chill the water even more.It was quite the event with the help of countless number of volunteers and bystanders looking on to cheer on the plungers. Eastern Connecticut State Universitys President Elsa Nuez was one of plenty on hand for the event. Steve Nelson, advisor of ECSU Rugby, Chris DAmbrosio, ECSU Womans Soccer Coach, Scott Smith aka Smitty, ECSU Sports Equipment Manager, and ECSU Rugby coaches Joe Pardee and Ray Aramini were only some of the countless number of volunteers and bystanders in attendance. The Assistant Coach of the Eastern Rugby team and Covenant Soup Kitchen board member Ray Aramini who has volunteered to put on this event for the past 5 years has only seen it grow, It started with 27 plungers the first year, mostly rugby players, and now 285 plungers took part in this years plunge. The first year $2,500 was raised compared to being on the cusp of over $100,000 this year. Plungers from all ages participated in the event raising money expecting to be north of $100,000, and possibly exceeding last years record. The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation will be matching every donation dollar by dollar up to $50,000. Last year the team was able to raise over $50,000, which was matched by the foundation bringing the total to $102,000 dollars. It will be a tremendous help for the Soup Kitchen, which all the proceeds will go towards. The estimated amount of money raised would supply food for a year to the soup kitchen. The money given takes pressure off the soup kitchen and allows for more of a comfort to the ones in charge like Kimberly Clark, the acting director of the Covenant Soup Kitchen.This year about one hundred plungers and brave souls took part in the plunge. Local residents, eastern students, past and present Eastern Rugby players, and others just to name a few all came out to show support. Just like last year about 300 plungers in total with ages ranging from 4- 76 all participated. It was also the first year that people received pre-printed Plunge for Hunger purple bracelets, which reads, 2016- Plunge for Hunger. As a first year member of the Eastern Mens Rugby team I had a great time and experience in the Plunge for Hunger event. I have met a lot of wonderful people and I look forward to participating in this event again and others in the future. Doing great things like this is great for the community and I enjoy every minute of it.For photos of the plunge and the article you can go to norwichbulletin.com and to donate you can visit the soup kitchen website at covenantsoupkitchen.org. Donations are still being accepted for a couple more weeks and a number will be officially announced hopefully on the first of March. Members of the ECSU Mens Rugby team posing with ESCU President Elsa NuezMembers of the ESCU Mens Rugby team past and present

Plungers sprinting out of the water only seconds after braving the freezing temperatures

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