By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Get ready for a doubleheader of arctic proportions.
If it were not already epic enough with its Icy Plunge for the Cure, the city’s Breast Cancer Awareness Committee is presenting an additional goodwill contest on the same January morning for those looking to challenge themselves while raising money for a good cause.
The first winter beach volleyball tournament, appropriately called the Spike for the Cure and organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation, will complement the 18th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure on Jan. 13.
Both events will benefit breast cancer research and education, said city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, a founding member of the committee, established in 2001.
Participants in the plunge can break out the polar swimwear at 9 a.m. at Savin Rock Beach, off Captain Thomas Boulevard. Then, at 11 a.m., participants in the volleyball tourney can bust out the cold weather sportswear on the frozen tundra of Sea Bluff Beach, just down the way off Ocean Avenue.
Registration for the plunge starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.
The first 100 people to register will receive “plungewear.” The top fundraiser will receive a prize.
Participants will wait on the beach for the signal to charge into the frigid surf of Long Island Sound. Wetsuits are not allowed.
More than 200 people took part in last year’s frosty dip, which netted about $30,000, said Sabo, who supervises Park-Rec.
And organizers anticipate another hearty turnout this year, with several city, police and fire departments forming teams and issuing challenges to one another to help raise the stakes and more money.
After the plunge, organizers will hold a raffle with prizes donated by area businesses.
Sabo said the plunge is a celebration of survivors and a remembrance of loved ones who have died of the disease.
Registration forms are available in the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
Pledges for the plunge must be handed in the day of the event, Sabo said. Checks are payable to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program.
Proceeds have previously gone to the Smilow Breast Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Looking Forward, an education and wellness program for cancer patients at Smilow.
For information or to sponsor the plunge, call Sabo at 203-937-3558.
For the Spike for the Cure, Park-Rec is registering six-person teams for the single-elimination tournament. The team entry fee is $100.
Register at the department’s Painter Park office, 190 Kelsey Ave. Checks are payable to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program.
The tourney winner will receive a prize, said organizer Diane Dietman, recreation program coordinator.
For information or to sponsor the tournament, call Park-Rec at 203-937-3651.
Send donation checks to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program, Department of Human Resources, 355 Main St., West Haven 06516.