On Sunday, March 8, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s 10th annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash to benefit Save the Harbor and DCR’s Better Beaches Program partnership brought nearly 300 beach-lovers together to raise funds to support free beach events and programs from Nahant to Nantasket in 2020.
This year, the “pledge and plunge” cold water fundraiser raised more than $50,000 to provide grants to community organizations to support free concerts, beach festivals, and youth programs on public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.
Participants could direct their fundraising to their favorite local beach. South Boston led with $6,921 followed by Dorchester with $4,298 and Lynn and Nahant with $3,820. Participants raised $3,155 for Winthrop, $2,949 for Wollaston Beach, $2,365 for Nantasket, $1,875 for Revere Beach and $1,595 for Constitution Beach in East Boston.
“Thirty years ago nobody wanted to go swimming on the region’s public beaches. Today we are proud to say they are some of the cleanest urban beaches in the country,” said Save the Harbor President Chris Mancini. “It’s amazing to see the community that supports this event and supports our beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.”
Before the sprint to the sea, Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1 pumped everyone up for the run into the Atlantic, but participants didn’t need much encouragement this year. With only a few clouds in the sky, as Boston 25 meteorologist Vicki Graf reported that the air temperature was a delightful 54 degrees, and the water was a balmy 41!
“All of us at Harpoon look forward to taking a quick dip into the cold water after our Harpoon St. Patrick’s festival to support a great cause and warm up with a refreshing Harpoon beer, a burger, and clam chowder on the beach with our friends from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay,” said Harpoon Brewery President Charlie Storey, who splashes each year. “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.
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, who led a team of splashers again this year. “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 $6,921 followed by Dorchester with $4,298 and Lynn & Nahant with $3,820. Participants raised $3,155 for Winthrop, $2,949 for Wollaston Beach, $2,365 for Nantasket, $1,875 for Revere Beach and $1,595 for Constitution Beach in East Boston.
Metropolitan Beaches Commissioner Rep. David Biele of South Boston took the plunge as well. “I was happy to join friends, residents and neighbors at this year’s Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Harpoon Shamrock Splash. Funds raised will support a wide range of programs that increase access and enjoyment of local beaches through a partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Thanks to this year’s swimmers, volunteers and sponsors for supporting and investing in our local beaches.”
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 Rep. RoseLee Vincent and Sen. Brendan Crighton, the legislative and community members on the Commission, the Baker-Polito Administration, its 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 they do to make this great event such a success.
As the region’s leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, the region’s public beaches, and the Boston Harbor Islands, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.
For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work we do, please visit our website at www.savehtheharbor.org, our blog “Sea, Sand & Sky” at blog.savetheharbor.org, or follow savetheharbor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.