Three Westhampton Beach Middle School eighth-graders have joined forces to initiate a Hamptons Polar Plunge to benefit East End Disability Associates (EEDA).
After Anthony Agudelo, Lauren Goss and Reilly Mahon realized that they each had a loved one with a disability, it inspired the trio to do something about their special connection and form the inaugural fundraising event. The Hamptons Polar Plunge will take place at Rogers Beach in Westhampton Beach on Saturday, January 19, at 1 p.m.
"We thought we could help others with disabilities by doing a fundraiser," Agudelo explained.
Agudelo and Goss each have a family member with autism, and during a work accident Mahon's father lost his right arm.
The trio uncovered their shared bond during a full-day, in-school HerStory writers' workshop in September while the students divulged personal stories. The workshop challenged the youth to use the power of their personal stories as inspiration to make the world around them a better space.
That led Agudelo, Goss and Mahon to establish their polar plunge action project. The students took charge, reaching out to East End Disability, securing the permits needed to use the beach, obtaining a coffee and hot chocolate donation from the Hampton Coffee Company, and raising awareness for the event.
"I am so impressed with these students," the student's Critical Literacy teacher, Kelly Russell, expressed. "They have worked hard doing all of this in their free time."
All are welcome at the event and the students hope to raise as much as they can for the nonprofit organization. For those unable to make it, you can donate to the event or sponsor a participant at www.eed-a.org
Admission to the Hamptons Polar Plunge is $10 and the event opens at 12 p.m.
EEAD's is "dedicated to creating practical solutions and providing innovative supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the East End of Long Island." The Riverhead-based nonprofit organization, which was established in 1992, offers support and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, EEDA enriches the lives of over 700 individuals.
For more information, visit www.eed-a.org.