On Saturday, February 8, 2020, the Lake Hopatcong Elks #782 held their 11th annual “Leap in the Lake for our Special Kids.” While the lake had no accumulated ice this year the jumpers still felt the 35-degree water as they took the brave plunge.
This great annual event that is in its 11th year, is run completely by the Lake Hopatcong Elks #782 which utilizes a small army of volunteers (60+ this year) that help with the event and the after-party at the Elks Lodge.
In speaking to Rick from the Elks, there are close to 400 leapers this year, which is up 60+ from last year. He also believes that over 500 spectators came out to support the leapers. The early count at the time of the leap was $50,000, which brings them close to topping $600,000 over the eleven-year period.
“Since we are all volunteers, this is strictly a community event, run by community volunteers for the special needs community. This is just wonderful, it’s just hearts and love by the community for special need folks.”
Heidi, District Deputy for the Elks, indicated that the funds raised help send over 20 kids to Camp Moore for special needs kids, and also helps to fund trips and events throughout the year for the kids.
Belinda Martin who is a long-time supporter of the event through team Patrick’s Pub, but leaping for the first time summed up the community support for this event, “I’ve seen all of the love for this event, it’s for special needs kids, how can you go wrong.”
In post interviews, the theme was common across the leapers, Brrrr! Even without the ice on the lake this year, the water was still cold, but that didn’t discourage the leapers that were brave enough to take a plunge into the lake, to benefit the special needs kids and Camp Moore.
More about Camp Moore:
Tucked away in the hill of the Ramapo Mountains, Elks Camp Moore offers a fun-filled vacation away from home for children with special needs. A week at Elks Camp Moore is a remarkable experience not soon to be forgotten. The primary goal of the camp is to further develop the recreational and social skills of each child. In a relaxed and accepting atmosphere, each camper experiences new adventures, lasting friendships, and opportunities that promote independence and greater self-confidence.
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