Participants ready for 13th annual Sloper Plunge

Published on Monday, 8 January 2018 20:58


SOUTHINGTON – It’s that time, once again, for people to take a leap into the freezing waters of Sloper Pond for charity.

The Southington Community YMCA has announced the 13th Annual Sloper Plunge is set to take place Jan. 20 at YMCA Camp Sloper.

The annual event, formerly known as the Polar Plunge, will take place, at 1 p.m., at the camp at 1000 East St. Each year, hundreds of people with warm hearts will take a frigid swim with one hundred percent of the proceeds being used to provide financial assistance to send children and teens to YMCA Camp Sloper this summer.

This year, organizers hope to collect $45,000 from the event.

“Other than summer camp, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year,” said Mark Pooler, director of operations at the Southington Community YMCA. “This event has grown to become a community staple and tons of volunteers and donors will rally to help kids in our local community. It is really all for the kids; what’s better than that?”

A total of ten teams will participate this year and the 2018 “Feature Team” is the Rotary Club of Southington.

“We are thrilled that Southington Rotarians have stepped up to support this year’s event,” said Pooler. “This group embodies what it means to serve community, and we’re lucky to have them this year.”

Lauren Dziedzic, co-captain of the Rotary Club team, said that their organization “couldn’t pass up on this opportunity.”

“As Rotarians, we are always looking for ways to contribute to the Southington Community, and this event is the perfect fit,” she said. “We are thrilled to take the plunge for kids in our community.”

The following are the nine other teams for this year’s Sloper Plunge:

. Team YMCA, led by Director of Operations Mark Pooler and Executive Director John Myers.

. Team Southington Police, led by Sergeant Brian Leppard, Sergeant Steven Cifone, Office Justin Burke and Officer Ryan Lair.

. Team Southington Fire Department, led by Inspector Bob Hunt.

. Team Board of Education, led by Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan, Board of Education Chair Brian Goralski, Southington High School Principal Brian Stranieri and Southington High School Teacher Bob Lasbury.

. Team Southington Politicians, led by Town Council member Tom Lombardi and former councilor Al Natelli.

. Team Calvanese Foundation, led by Foundation Member Lauren Forgione and Back Nine staff member Don Jenkins.

. Team Southington, led by Assistant Town Planner David Lavallee.

. Team Lake Compounce, led by General Manager Jerry Brick and Aquatic Manager Ciara Devaney.

. Team Leaping Ladies, led by Shannon Eterginio, Y Development Director and community leaders Moi Myers, Terri Connellan and Dawn Pooler.

The title sponsor for this year’s Sloper Plunge is Maximum Security.

“I love supporting this event,” said owner Ralph Campochiaro. “It’s a true testament to how far people in our community are willing to go to help kids.

The Fire Place restaurant is also a longtime sponsor.

Those interested in sponsoring the event can email Shannon Eterginio at

Those interested in participating in the plunge should email Mark Pooler at Participants must be 18 or older by Jan. 20, must be able to swim and must receive $100 or more in donations.

Those who wish to donate in support of this fundraiser can do so by visiting or by mailing a check to Southington Community YMCA, Attn: Shannon Eterginio, 29 High St., Southington, CT 06489. Those sending checks are asked to write “Sloper Plunge” in the notes field on their check.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Monday, 8 January 2018 20:58. Updated: Monday, 8 January 2018 21:00.