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Braving the Potomac Plunge

Andrew Irwin Leventhal and I plunged into the 37-degree Potomac River while the air temperature was 38 degrees. We dressed in matching black Washington Capitals hockey jerseys as Andrew enjoys following the team.
    Because of high tide, strong winds and recent rains, there was no beach to plunge from. The 200 or so plungers had a narrow entryway over boulders and muddy water.
    I screamed the entire time.
    After changing back into warm clothes Andrew said: “It hurts and it’s hard to walk. It feels like pins and needles in my feet.”
    Our photographer lost us in the crowd so you just have to believe we plunged. Andrew is a Boy Scout and you know they are honest.
    At 12, Andrew was one of the youngest plungers. Doing a plunge was on his bucket list. I wonder how many of us adults have completed goals on our bucket lists?
    Joining us were environmental activists from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Donna Edwards joined the rally. Chesapeake Climate Action Network staff from Virginia said that state is the most directly affected by rising sea levels, and there is an effective bipartisan campaign to address some local immediate issues.
    In the crowds were two polar bears, a man holding up a plunger, a purple superhero, a slew of staff from Community Forklift (a nonprofit that recycles building materials), Sierra Club members and a Franciscan environmental group wearing their long brown robes into the Potomac.
    At the indoor party afterward, Andrew’s good luck produced a winning lottery ticket for gift cards to a local restaurant. The sponsorship of friends enabled us to plunge for Chesapeake Climate Action Network to raise money to fight global warming.

–Leeann Irwin, Greenbelt and Annapolis