The air temperature wasn’t as cold as it has been recently, but the water was about 35 degrees for participants of the Polar Plunge in Long Island Sound in West Haven on Saturday. The plunge raises money for breast cancer awareness.
West Haven has hosted the Polar Plunge every year since 2001, bringing many participants back year after year and raising $650,000 for breast cancer awareness so far.
“My whole body just froze,” said Joe Fowler of West Haven.
Earlier in the morning when Joe was drier and more talkative we asked him about why he was doing this.
“It’s West Haven, and when West Haven does something like this the community comes together,” he said.
Fowler said he doesn’t have a breast cancer connection in the family, but he put out a message on his Facebook page — kind of a dare — if he got more than 1,000 likes, he would swim in pink pajamas.
“I got 1,500, so here I am,” he said.
Arlene Belotti was doing this 14th annual polar plunge for her mother.
“My mom’s name is Anna, and her cancer was so bad it was stage 3, they had to take it,” Belotti said.
Arlene came off an all-night shift to take this dip.
“A positive attitude really helps, and being aware of your medical history and what runs in your family,” she said. “In my mom’s case, she was aggressive and God bless her, I want her to be around for a few more years.”