Vernon's 'Arctic Splash' has its best year yet

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Dec. 12, 2013
Rockville High School seniors Shayla Shoenberger (right) and Amy Eitelman scramble out of the pond at Valley Falls after taking an 'Arctic Splash' on Dec. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.
Rockville High School seniors Shayla Shoenberger (right) and Amy Eitelman scramble out of the pond at Valley Falls after taking an 'Arctic Splash' on Dec. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.

There wasn't snow on the ground (yet), but a water temperature of 29 degrees certainly made it feel arctic for the 70 “splashers” at the annual Arctic Splash at the pond at Valley Falls Park on Dec. 7. More than $2,500 was raised for the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department's Send-a-Kid-to-Camp program, enabling youngsters to attend the department's summer camp programs in 2014.

Several schools brought teams of teachers, administrators, students and families, and Vernon Center Middle School received an award for most school spirit. The Skinner Road School team of Principal Sandye Simon, school nurse Judi Manfre, and staffers Mary Beth Fafalla and Ben Grabowicz received an award for best costumes, as they went for the dip dressed as a Christmas tree and presents.

Former Board of Education member William Nicholson received an award for most donations raised by an individual.

When asked how her experience was, “Chilling,” was the answer given by Vernon Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Conway, who also took the plunge. “Invigorating,” she added. “It was great. I was so thrilled. We had put out a Superintendent's Challenge to give to your community and help your neighbor, and they could do anything to accomplish that. The middle school especially picked up the challenge, and they had 35 teachers here," said Conway. "It brought more awareness across the district about this event and why we have it.”

“There are definitely a lot more people this year,” said Recreation Supervisor Bruce Watt, who went for a splash himself. Watt said that at least 30 kids will be able to attend camp next summer because of the splashers' efforts.

For more information, visit the Vernon Parks and Recreation website at www.vernon-ct.gov/parks.


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