Get ready to 'plunge' for a good cause

JULIE HUSS /File photoPlungers scurry out of a frigid Beaver Lake to take a dip during last year's Pantry Plunge, held in Derry to support the First Baptist Church Food Pantry. This year's Plunge is set for Dec. 15 at Gallien's Beach at Beaver Lake. 

DERRY — They will once again be freezing for a good cause as supporters of a local food pantry get ready for an icy dip in some chilly waters.

The second annual Pantry Plunge is set for Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon, at Gallien's Beach at Beaver Lake.

Participants will be jumping into the lake to raise money to support First Baptist Church Food Pantry.

Last year about 38 people took part in the Plunge in its inaugural year, raising nearly $10,000 to support the local food mission.

Nancy Francis, a six-year member of the food pantry board of directors, said last year's event was a fun, but cold, time for those making up teams or just taking the plunge individually.

Francis participated as part of her employer's team at Blue Seal Feed in Derry. The business will once again form a team for this year's event.

And it's time for teams to start forming for this year's Plunge. Teams and participants are also encouraged to come to the lake wearing fun attire, but Francis warned that it's a good idea to wear some sort of footwear as people zoom into the waters.

Francis said although the food pantry's shelves get a seasonal boost this time of year with many food drives at local businesses and schools going to help, it's once the holidays end that the need continues.

Right now, the pantry supports about 350 individuals and 150 families every month.  Francis said the pantry also hopes to begin a mission to provide not just food, but also more personal care items.

And as much as the pantry appreciates the generous support of local food donations to help keep the shelves stocked, monetary help is also appreciated.

"Money is always easy to store," Francis said. "It always fills in the right void."

Anyone wanting to learn more about this year's Pantry Plunge can stop by Blue Seal on Crystal Avenue, or search for Pantry Plunge on Facebook. Information will also be posted on the First Baptist Church Food Pantry web site.

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