What better way to start 2020 than to plunge into the Gulf of Mexico?
The air was a crisp 64 degrees when hundreds of people rushed Jan. 1 into the Gulf of Mexico for Clancy’s 12th annual Shamrock Shiver New Year’s Day Charity Plunge at Cortez Beach in Bradenton Beach.
About 500 people attended the event, according to Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub employee Daniel Cassidy. Nearly half of the attendees took the plunge.
Before the run to the Gulf, the crowd judged a costume contest.
Participants included Paul Devine, who dressed as a sea turtle. Bill Capobianco and Paul Halvorsen were costumed as Pacific Islanders. Steve Theroux was dressed as Spock from “Star Trek.” And a group arrived costumed in a Pac Man-theme.
The “Pac Man family,” led by Bradenton resident Dana Rothgery, won the top prize.
At the parking lot, volunteers collected donations and sold event T-shirts.
After the plunge at noon, people went to Clancy’s, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, for an after-party with raffles, live music, food, beverages and awards.
Proceeds benefit Caring for Children Charities, the fundraising arm of the Sarasota-based nonprofit organization, Florida Winefest and Auction.
Clancy’s has helped raised $246,876 since beginning its annual plunge in 2009.
The 2019 plunge raised about $27,000.
The 2020 plunge raised $25,537 as of Jan. 5, according to Rayma Stowe of Clancy’s.
To pledge or donate to the campaign, contact Jan Crudele of Florida Winefest at 941-952-1109.
For more information, call Stowe at 941-720-4072.