HIGHLAND, N.Y. -- Icy temperatures and brutal winds on Saturday failed to halt the sixth annual Subzero Heroes fundraiser for the Poughkeepsie-based Alzheimer's Association of the Hudson Valley on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Berean Park in Highland.
The event made in excess of $122,000, surpassing its goal by $22,000. Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum’s team was the top fundraiser, gathering $20,366 for the fight against Alzheimer’s. Leading teams included Team Sal with radio personality Bob Miller, Highland Hose with Jimmy Anzalone and the Lloyd Police Contingent. Together, these top four teams raised more than $58,000.
“We’re thrilled to have surpassed our fundraising goals. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make this year’s Subzero Heroes such a huge success,” said event planner Karen Finnegan.
Modifications were made because extreme cold and frigid wind chills were in the forecast. Participants were given the option of posing in a chair next to the icy lake with a thermometer showing how cold it was, while the jump site was set up in a shallower part of the lake than in previous years.
Despite these precautions, some heroes went out of their way to immerse themselves completely. Warming tents were placed by the water’s edge so heroes could quickly change out of their soaked clothing.
Many heroes dressed in purple, the color associated with the fight against Alzheimer’s disease — while the Lloyd Police jumped in uniform, and others on the “Strike Out Alz” team dressed as giant bowling pins.
After the jump, Culinary Institute of America professor Scott Swartz and his students served an assortment of hot beverages, vegetarian chili and potato garlic soup that helped warm people up on the blustery day.
The event was started in February 2010 when 25 people jumped into Freedom Lake in LaGrange and approximately 80 others watched. This year, more than 145 heroes registered to jump and another 75 signed up to be sidekicks, who help heroes with fundraising and logistics on the day of the event. Click here for more information.