GHS Interact club raises more than $800 for Polio


Claire Knowlton

GHS Interact club poses with adviser Michael Perreault for a group photo at annual Polar Plunge.


This past Saturday, Rotary members around the North Shore gathered together to plunge into the Atlantic in order to raise money and bring awareness to Polio.  

Among the several groups that gathered at Long Beach in Rockport for the cause was the Gloucester High School Interact Club.

“It’s so cold that I don’t want to plunge, but I did it last year and I know it’s necessary for the cause,” said Interact board member Rebecca Pollock.

Polio is a disease that causes destruction to nerve cells in one’s spinal cord. The icy cold water of February emulates the symptoms that those afflicted with Polio face.

At the mid-morning plunge, it was a toasty twenty degrees with a negative ten windchill. Members of the Interact Club huddled in rented Rotary rooms and the lobby to fuel with coffee and snacks at the Cape Ann Motor Inn.

In the twenty minutes before the plunge, plungers and bystanders alike emerged from their rooms and down to the beach in preparation. From the balcony of the Inn, Rotary International President, Julie LaFontaine, inspired the crowd as the organization worked to “Eradicate Polio!”

While at the ring of the bell many of those plunging swiftly ran in and out of the water, Interact member Thad Fulmer spent multiple minutes basking in the frigid February water.

“I did it because I do it a lot for the ridiculous amount of health benefits that it provides, so I’m pretty conditioned at this point to where I can stay in for a few minutes and just calm my mind and chill,” said Fulmer.

The fundraiser was a success as the Interact Club raised upwards of $900 alone, in conjunction with the $70,000 raised by the local Rotary International chapter for the cause.

Overall, Interact Co-President Chris MacDonald said it best.

“I felt the polar plunge was a success for everyone involved, it’s a great experience for people to come together and experience the cold water for a great cause. The success that the polar plunge brings each year is always something that Interact is happy to say that we are a part of.”