While members of Brothers Before Others are always down for a good dare, especially when it comes to raising money for someone in need, 2018 marked the first year that BBO entered a team into the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge Series.
Traditionally, most departments/organizations in the NY/NJ area flock to the plunge that takes place down the Jersey Shore. However, when presented with the opportunity to assist a NJ State Trooper, BBO took their game to Easton, Pennsylvania.
On February 17, 2018, BBO teamed with up ‘Team Caitlyn”, a fundraising group created to raise money and awareness for the daughter of NJ State Trooper and BBO member, James Regan.
Caitlyn Regan was born with a brain injury and, as a result, has special needs. In response to this, James and his family continuously donate to and support organizations like the Special Olympics. Since joining the Lehigh Valley Polar Bear Plunge, “Team Caitlyn” has been the top fundraiser for four years running.
With temperatures in the low 30’s, led by NJ State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan and a piper from the NJ State Police Blue and Gold Pipe Band, approximately 40 members of “Team Caitlyn” hurled themselves into the Delaware River. As if jumping into freezing water wasn’t entertaining enough, some members decided to dress for the occasion, wearing outfits including a shark, rooster, bunny pajamas and, naturally, a T-Rex.
Prior to the jump, Colonel Callahan joined members of BBO for a separate fundraiser. Only weeks prior to the plunge, the neighbor of BBO founder Michael Burke, Lenny Ruggiero, who is a huge law enforcement supporter and regular at BBO events, lost his home in a fire.
When the members of BBO heard about the fire and the level of the devastation, unsolicited and without prompting, they sprung into action. As a result, before heading into the Delaware River, BBO hosted a breakfast, at which Michael, along with BBO Vice President Will Spencer, presented the Ruggiero family with $6,000, donated solely from the pockets of their members.
The members of BBO are already looking forward to, once again, joining forces with “Team Caitlyn” for the 2019 plunge. Stay Tuned!