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February 21, 2013

Rotary's benefit Polar Plunge set for Saturday

It’s late February — and for the Gloucester Rotary Club, that means it’s beach season.

Rotary International District 7930, which includes the Gloucester club, will hold its third annual benefit Polar Plunge Saturday at 11:15 a.m. on the Gloucester end of Long Beach.

The event is part of Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to raise research dollars to help eradicate polio. The date, rescheduled from its original earlier date due to the Blizzard of 2013, will also coincide with the anniversary of the very first meeting of Rotary, when the late Paul Harris met with three of his colleagues on Feb. 23, 1905.

The event is expected to draw more than 250 people into the the cold waters off Cape Ann adjacent the Cape Ann Motor Inn, which is owned by longtime Rotarian and community activist Brad Pierce. The Gloucester Rotary Club will serve as host for the event.

Last year, close to 160 people braved the icy waters in an effort that yielded more then $34,000.

Polar Plunge and Polio Chairman Bob Gravino of the Ipswich club has set this year’s goal at $100,000. That amounts to $2,100 per club for 48 clubs from Boston north to Salem N.H., and as far East as the Cape Ann communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester.

The district is also utilizing an electronic fund-raising process this year in efforts to help clubs and members raise the targeted $100,000. Supporters are encouraged to log on to, follow links to the rotary foundation-of-rotary-international/rotary7930-polar-plunge, and make a pledge to help Rotarians lead the way to eradicate this dreaded disease.

If you would like to help out or participate in some way please feel free to contact Committee Chairman Bob Gravino, or Josh Arnold the Event’s Public Relations Chairman at

Clubs are also using social media of Facebook and Twitter to help promote their participation in the event.

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