Despite brutally cold weather in the Northeast over the weekend, members of Sky Blue FC management braved the extreme temperatures on Saturday by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean for a great cause. Alongside community partner KICK ALS!, staff members took the 10th Annual Valentine Plunge at Manasquan Beach, which was hosted by the Joan Dancy and People with ALS (PALS) Foundation along with the Staytough.fightHARD. Inc. Foundation.
“It was such an inspiration to see so many people committed to supporting this incredible initiative on Saturday,” said Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager. “The weather may have made it challenging for us plungers, but that pales in comparison to the challenges that ALS sufferers endure on a daily basis. We were happy to support such a great cause.”
Novo, Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly and VP of Communications John Archibald joined KICK ALS! founder Tom Fraehmke on a plunge team that was also co-sponsored by the official Sky Blue FC Supporters Club, Cloud 9. Roughly 900 participants plunged for the cause on Saturday, and over $233,000 was raised.
“A lot of credit should go to Tom, who did a lot of work to help pull together this great event. All we had to do was jump in the water,” Holly stated. “We are delighted as a club that we are able to connect with such a fantastic charity as they raise awareness about this illness.”
The Joan Dancy and PALS Foundation was formed in 2005 by Terry Magovern in honor of Joan Dancy, his late fiancé, after she succumbed to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The organization has a mission to help people in the local communities afflicted with ALS by providing them and their families with a better quality of life.
The Staytough.fightHARD. Inc. Foundation was originally created at Bucknell University as a surprise benefit by Timothy M. O’Neill Jr. and four fellow classmates: Nick Mauritz, Becky Fisher, Ellen Kurkowski and Jon Hemmert. The benefit was held for Timothy M. O’Neill Sr., who had been diagnosed with ALS. Upon the successful completion of the benefit, it was decided to expand staytough. fightHARD. into a non-profit organization for education, raising funds and assistance.
KICK ALS! was founded by Fraehmke as a Facebook group in 2010, combining his two passions of enjoying soccer and raising awareness of ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). His wife, Marlene, lost her 11-year battle with ALS in October of 2014, but he and his son, Christian, continue the fight in her memory.
“We were honored and humbled to have representatives of the Sky Blue FC front office plunging with us!” Fraehmke exclaimed. “It reaffirms our collaboration to improve the lives of New Jersey residents who are battling this horrific disease. Thank you to the Sky Blue FC front office for plunging and the continued support. Once again, Sky Blue FC lives up to their hashtag: #WeAreNJ”
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