It was a balmy 34 degrees Tuesday afternoon, when about 50 people hit the water at Goddard Park Beach for the second annual Frozen Clam. The Frozen Clam was the brainchild of Ryan McGowan, owner of Laid-Back Fitness. A seasoned “plunger,” McGowan had the idea for the Frozen Clam back in 2011, and made the event a reality last New Year’s Day. About 30 people took part in the first Frozen Clam, and McGowan was pleased to see that more people braved the even icier waters this year.
The proceeds from the Frozen Clam benefit the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership, and this year they raised $3,000, doubling last year’s $1,500.
Both McGowan and Jo-Ann Schofield, the President and COO of the Mentoring Partnership, took to the icy brine with about 45 others on Monday. After singing the national anthem and counting down to noon, the swimsuit-clad crowd ran into (and quickly out of) the chilly waters; most scattered to their cars for warmth or a quick change out of their soggy suits.
Schofield said she’s grateful to the participants and sponsors for helping raise money for the Partnership. Though she’s not sure if braving the icy waters was good for her, she’s happy to know the money is going to a good cause.
McGowan agreed, and said despite the low temperatures, the plunge felt great: “Everything feels good except my toes.”