By Sara Rietbroek
The Great Neck Alert Fire Company participated in the 12th Annual Town of North Hempstead Polar Plunge at Hempstead Harbor Park on Saturday, March 5. The Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge raised money for the athletes of Special Olympics New York. Since the event began, the Alert Fire Company has come out every year to support the Polar Plunge and the Port Washington Fire Department.
Senior members of the Alert Fire Company’s ice and cold-water rescue squad, under the direction of Great Neck Deputy Mayor and First Lieutenant Raymond Plakstis, Jr., and along with several other local fire departments, were on hand to patronize the event and provide emergency services for the swimmers, if needed.
Several Great Neck Alert Junior firefighters braved the frigid waters to participate in this year’s Polar Plunge. Accompanying the Juniors was Erin Lipinsky of Great Neck, who raised $3,963, making him the top fundraiser for the event. Lipinsky is a longtime member of the Great Neck Spirits Basketball Team for Special Olympics. Junior Captain Ryan Motchkavitz was also one of the top ten fundraisers for the event, collecting $600 for the cause.