This Saturday January 22nd at 11:30am the Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission will host the 5th Annual John Hancock Birthday Plunge at Wollaston Beach in Quincy. South Shore residents will gather for a wintry plunge to benefit Interfaith Social Services.
Why will people be swimming at Wollaston beach this Saturday? To honor a patriot and raise money for hungry families of course.
With temperatures predicted to be in the teens on Saturday, as well as snow forecast for Friday the last thought on most people’s mind is going for a swim in the ocean, but that is exactly what a number of South Shore residents plan on doing this weekend.
The plunge is sponsored by The Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission (QBCC) and Quirk Ford. For the past five years QBCC has celebrated John Hancock’s Birthday by inviting local residents to take part in the John Hancock Plunge. This year the event falls on the prominent patriot’s birthday, January 22. Hancock was born in the city of Quincy in 1737 and was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.
“This is a great way to remember a hero who is sometimes overshadowed by the other patriots of his day.” said Leo Kelly QBCC Commissioner. “John Hancock was born here in Quincy; he is our hometown founding father. Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission feels that raising money for needy families here on the South Shore is a great way to honor his legacy.”
All “Plungers” are invited to gather pledges from their friends and family to support Interfaith Social Services’. ISS offers food, clothing, counseling, and assistance to South Shore residents in need. Last year their food pantry distributed over 430,000 lbs. of food to impoverished families. “The Plunge is so much fun,” said Interfaith’s Executive Director Rick Doane. “It was incredible last year to see hundreds of people gather on a cold January morning to take an icy dip in the ocean and to support their loved ones who were participating. We are so grateful for The Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission and everyone who does the Plunge. It is only with this type of community support that ISS can continue serving the thousands of local families who turn to us for help every year.”
“You don’t have to go into the water to gather pledges,” said event organizer Chickie Abdallah. “Participation categories include: Full Plunger, Waist Wader, Knee Higher, Dunking Toe-Nut, and Geez – I Would If I Could. This is so much fun; we even have prizes for the oldest and youngest participants, person or group bringing in the largest amount of donations, and the best costume.”
This year The Quincy City Council made the Plunge even more special by honoring Ms. Abdallah. The council declared Saturday, January 22, 2011 as “Chickie Abdallah Toe-Dunk Day” in the City of Quincy.
If you would like to participate in the Plunge you can download a registration form or make a donation at: www.interfaithsocialservices.org.
The event will take place Saturday January 22nd at 11:30 on Wollaston Beach in Quincy. Everyone is invited to bring canned goods to the event to help support Interfaith’s food pantry.
This event is brought to you by the Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission, Friends of Wollaston Beach, The Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Quirk Ford.