With a high of only 25 degrees, members of Sky Blue FC management joined roughly 900 others in braving extreme cold and plunging into the Atlantic Ocean for the 10th Annual Valentine Plunge on Feb. 13.
The event was hosted by the Joan Dancy and People with ALS (PALS) Foundation along with Staytough.fightHARD. Inc. Foundation.
Sky Blue FC President & General Manager Tony Novo, Head Coach Christy Holly and VP of Communications John Archibald all took the plunge at Manasquan Beach on Saturday.
"It was such an inspiration to see so many people committed to supporting this incredible initiative on Saturday. The weather may have made it challenging for us plungers, but that pales in comparison to the challenges ALS sufferers endure on a daily basis. We were happy to support such a great cause," Novo said in a statement about the event.
Novo, Holly and Archibald joined Kick ALS! founder Tom Fraehmke, who started Kick ALS! as a Facebook group in 2010, combining his two passions of raising awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and enjoying the game of soccer. Fraehmke's wife, Marlene, lost her 11-year battle with ALS in October of 2014, but he and his son, Christian, continue the fight in her memory.
"We were honored and humbled to have representatives of the Sky Blue FC front office plunging with us! It reaffirms our collaboration to improve the lives of New Jersey residents who are battling this horrific disease. Thank you to the Sky Blue FC front office for plunging and for the continued support. Once again, Sky Blue FC lives up to their hashtag: #WeAreNJ," states Fraehmke.
The Joan Dancy and PALS Foundation was formed in 2005 by Terry Magovern in honor of his late fiancé, Joan Dancy after she succumbed to ALS. Their mission is to help people in the local communities affected by ALS by providing them and their families with better quality of life.
The Staytough.fightHARD. Inc. Foundation was originally created at Bucknell University as a surprise benefit by Timothy M. O'Neill, Jr. and four fellow classmates: Nick Mauritz, Becky Fisher, Ellen Kurkowski and Jon Hemmert. The benefit was held for Timothy M. O'Neill, Sr., who had been diagnosed with ALS. Upon the successful completion of the benefit, it was decided to expand staytough. fightHARD. into a non-profit organization for education, raising funds and assistance.
The plunge raised over $233,000