Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Very Big Splash in South Boston

235 costumed beach lovers plunged into the icy waters of Boston Harbor
at this year’s
Harpoon Shamrock Splash at the BCYF Curley Community Center
in South Boston on Sunday, March 6th at noon. 

Participants competed for great prizes including JetBlue flights for best costume and biggest fundraiser and raised more than $43,000 to support free events and programs on the region’s public from Nahant to Nantasket this summer as part of Save the Harbor and DCR’s Better Beaches Program.

Tiffany Spearman of South Boston, splashing for Youth Enrichment Services, raised more than $4,000 to win best fundraiser. Jane Kepros of East Boston, splashing for Eastie's beaches as Lobster Gal and Joe Skahan of Salem, splashing for Lynn's beaches as Kilt Guy won first prize for best costumes. Winners received round trip flights on JetBlue Airways.

 Top Row: Fred Ahern, Director of the BCYF Curley Community Center, Donnie Todd, Corporate Social Responsibility Liaison at JetBlue Airways, Tiffany Spearman of Y.E.S., Jessie Cox, Director of Harpoon Helps, Dan Kenary, Founder and CEO of Harpoon Brewery and Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Front Row: Joe Skahan of Salem as Kilt Guy and Jane Kepros of East Boston as Lobster Gal won prizes for best costumes, judged by Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104 and Charlie Storey, President of Harpoon Brewery.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay began the tradition in 2011 as the Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash, a cold-water "plunge and pledge" fundraiser to raise money to support free Better Beaches events and programs on the region's public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.

“All of us at Harpoon are look forward to taking a quick dip into the icy water after our Harpoon St. Patrick’s Day festival to support a great cause and warm up with a refreshing Harpoon and burgers on the beach with our friends from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay” said Harpoon Brewery President Charlie Storey. “Sure it’s cold in the water, but the warm feeling you get from giving back to your community stays with you for a long time.”

In 2015, with the support of the legislative members of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Save the Harbor secured additional funds to support the Better Beaches Program.

As a result, last year Save the Harbor and DCR awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 35 organizations in nine waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities to support 70 free concerts, family beach festivals, competitive swims, movie nights, campfires, story telling and art on the shore in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull,

“All of these great events have one thing in common,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s President Patty Foley. “They bring people together to strengthen their communities and enjoy our region's most stunning natural resources, the 19 miles of DCR’s public swimming beaches that connect us to each other and to Boston Harbor, Mass Bay and Broad Sound.”

"At JetBlue, two core pillars of our corporate social responsibility platform are youth/education and the environment.  We are delighted to help raise funds and awareness for youth and beach programs in partnership with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. This year's Harpoon Shamrock Splash perfectly aligns with our focus," said Ronda Ivy-McLeod, Northeast regional marketing manager for JetBlue. "As more than 3,000 JetBlue crewmembers call Boston home, we cherish our harbor and proudly support Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work they do on the region's public beaches."

Better Beaches Program Grants range from $500 - $10,000, with a typical grant of $3,500. In rare cases, larger grants may be considered. Past events have included concert series, sand- sculpting competitions, campfires, art festivals, neighborhood beach parties, and family reading and movie nights on the beach.

Save the Harbor would like to thank Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue Airways, and all the splashers and donors who made this year's Harpoon Shamrock Splash our biggest and best ever.

We would also like to thank our foundation funding partners The Boston Foundation, the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust, our corporate sponsors Harpoon, JetBlue, Comcast and National Grid and  Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Senator Tom McGee and Representative RoseLee Vincent and the legislative and community members of the Commission, the Baker-Polito Administration and our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation for making this great program possible.

To find out more about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and DCR’s Better Beaches Program, visit http://www.blog.savetheharbor.org/2016/02/a-spectacular-summer-on-your-beach_12.html

For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, visit their website at www.savetheharbor.org and like or follow savetheharbor on Facebook and twitter.

You can make a contribution to support our work here.

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