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Local Middle School Students Presenting 2nd Annual Polar Plunge At Rogers Beach In Support Of East End Disability Associates

Nicole Barylski

Take a quick dip for a cause. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

Westhampton Beach Middle School Critical Literacy students taught by Kelly Russell are continuing a frosty tradition that they started last year by inviting all to take the plunge for a worthy cause - East End Disability Associates (EEDA) - during the 2nd annual Polar Plunge at Rogers Beach in Westhampton Beach.

"In the course I developed at Westhampton Beach Middle, students are tasked with developing a social action project that improves their school, community, or world. I teach them skills to obtain that goal," Kelly Russell noted.

The students settled on a fundraiser that engaged the entire East End community. "Last year, three of my students suggested we plunge for charity," Russell explained. "They chose East End Disability because they all had a family member who had either a physical or developmental disability. My son is on the spectrum, as well. So, it meant a great deal to me, as well."

Once the nonprofit organization heard about the event, they were on board. "We reached out to East End and they were delighted to work with us," Russell said.

The 2020 Plunge will take place on Saturday, January 11. Registration begins at 12 p.m.

"We had over 100 people last year," Russell relayed. "We hope to have the same if not more this year."

The afternoon will include complimentary hot chocolate and coffee provided by Hampton Coffee Company.

"It's an amazing day. The community rallies," Russell expressed. "It's a giant celebration on the beach."

As with other local plunges, some choose to really go all out and don a festive ensemble. "People came in costumes last year, and Hampton Coffee generously donates coffee and hot chocolate," Russell said. "It truly shows the spirit of the community that is willing to give their time and their support not only to middle school students who are learning how empowered they can be, but to others who have needs that East End Disability works so hard to advocate for."

East End Disability Associates 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 grassroots agency was established in 1992 by a group of parents and EEDA now provides services to more than 700 individuals.

"It's worth it to participate in. Hope you will come down," Russell encouraged.

The registration fee for the 2nd annual Polar Plunge at Rogers Beach is $10. Of course, plungers may also take on sponsors to raise additional funds for East End Disability Associates.

Roger's Beach is located in 105 Dune Road in Westhampton Beach. To register, visit /nterland3.donorperfect.net. For more information, email russellk@whbschools.org . For more information about East End Disability Associates, visit www.eed-a.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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