Eleven members of the Weston High boys soccer team plunged into the icy waters off Jennings Beach to raise money for charity.
The second annual Polar Plunge to benefit Urban Impact CT was held on March 4 in 20-degree temperatures. The boys braved the frigid conditions and joined forces with Urban Impact mentors, volunteers and supporters to raise more than $2,000. Also joining in were Executive Director Chris Myers, a Weston resident who is also an off-season soccer coach to the boys, and Urban Impact founders Rick Fawcett and Bob Niedermeier.
Urban Impact is a 501(c)(3) organization that works with children who live in P.T. Barnum, one of four public housing complexes in Bridgeport. The organization runs a variety of in-school and after-school activities for the children, including one-on-one and small group tutoring and mentoring.
While students across Fairfield County have an average reading proficiency rate of 88% compared to the statewide rate of 70%, in the not-too-distant past P.T. Barnum kids averaged only 7%. The math proficiency rate is similarly poor. Students from P.T. Barnum who attend Urban Impact’s in-school and after-school tutoring programs show a dramatic improvement in school performance with significantly higher GPAs and higher standardized test scores. Urban Impact does not charge any of the students for its programs, and all after-school programs include a warm meal, which is important for these at-risk children.
“I am very grateful that, on one of the coldest days of the year, we had so much support for a polar plunge fund-raiser,” said Myers. “This is an important fund-raiser, where all proceeds go right into our programs and back to the at-risk kids who live in P.T. Barnum.”
Team member Bennett Purcell added, “Education is very important, and everyone deserves an equal chance.”
For more information about Urban Impact and its mission, email Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.urbanimpactct.org/.