Thursday, March 12, 2020

Community members raise more than $50,000 for beach events and programs from Nahant to Nantasket

Ethan George of Brookline dives into the water with his narwhal costume. George raised $2,050 and won a JetBlue round-trip flight for receiving the most individual donations.

The 10th annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash to benefit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay brought 275 community members together and raised $50,460 for free beach events and programs from Nahant to Nantasket.

This year, the “pledge and plunge” fundraiser raised more than $50,000 for the Better Beaches Program, which provides grants to community organizations that host free events and programs on the region's public beaches. Each year the program supports free concerts, beach festivals, and youth programs on public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

“Thirty years ago nobody wanted to go swimming at the region's beaches and today, they are some of the cleanest urban beaches in the country,” said Save the Harbor Executive Director Chris Mancini. “It’s amazing to see the community that supports this event and supports our beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.”
Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1 announces Chris Graefe of Jamaica Plain 
as one of the costume contest winners for his cowboy speedo look.

Before the sprint into the ocean, MC Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1 was ready to pump everyone up for the run into the Atlantic, but participants didn’t need as much encouragement as they usually do – with only a few clouds in the sky, the air temperature was a warm 54 degrees, and the water was a balmy 41!

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

Participants won JetBlue flights and great Harpoon swag for reaching fundraising goals. Trevor Etheridge from Jamaica Plain was the highest fundraiser, raising $2,550, and Ethan George from Brookline raised $2,050 and had the most individual donations. They each won round-trip JetBlue flights for their efforts.

Jane Kepros of East Boston celebrates her costume contest win,
sporting a handmade frog head.
The two costume contest winners, Jane Kepros from East Boston in a handmade frog costume, and Chris Graefe from Jamaica Plain in a speedo cowboy look, won JetBlue flights as well for their creativity and enthusiasm. Special thanks to Elsey, Storey, JetBlue’s Donnie Todd, and Boston 25 Meteorologist Vicki Graf for serving as contest judges! Every splasher and contributor also had the opportunity to win prizes in two post-Splash JetBlue flight raffles.

"At JetBlue, we are committed to our community and fun is one of our core values,” said Donnie Todd, Corporate Responsibility Liaison for JetBlue. "More than 3,500 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."

Participants could direct their fundraising to their favorite local beach. South Boston led with $7,191 followed by Dorchester with $4,468 and Lynn & Nahant with $3,820. Participants raised $2,949 for Wollaston Beach, $2,855 for Winthrop, and $2,355 for Nantasket. In addition, Revere Beach received $1,875 and Constitution Beach received $1,520.

Fundraising and costume contest winners pose with event sponsors. From left: Ethan George of Brookline, who raised $2,050 and won for most individual donations; Donnie Todd, JetBlue's Corporate Social Responsibility Liaison; Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1, our event MC; Trevor Etheridge of Jamaica Plain who raised $2,550 and won for highest amount raised; Jane Kepros of East Boston and Chris Graefe of Jamaica Plain who won the costume contest; Harpoon Brewery President Charlie Storey; Meteorologist Vicki Graf from Boston 25, and Metropolitan Beaches Commissioner Rep. David Biele.

Save the Harbor’s success would not be possible without our program partners and event sponsors, including Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, Mix 104.1, The Daily Catch, The Blue Sky Collaborative, The Boston Foundation, The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, Beacon Capital Partners, P&G Gillette, National Grid, and Comcast.

In addition, Save the Harbor recognizes the Metropolitan Beaches Commission Co-Chairs Representative RoseLee Vincent and Senator Brendan Crighton, the legislative and community members on the Commission, the Baker-Polito Administration, our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the hundreds of people who take part in the Harpoon Shamrock Splash every year, for all the work they do to make this possible.

Splashers run into the water at the 10th Annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash on March 8, 2020.

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