The Lake Hopatcong Elks hosted 8th annual Leap in the Lake – Which has raised over $400,000 throughout its history for the special needs children.
This year there were over 300 Lake-Leapers which is close to the record, and way up from the first year where there were only 37 that took the leap into the lake. As we asked the Leapers about the temperature of the lake, the resounding answer was it’s not as cold as last year! Later we found that the lake temperature was 34 degrees, based upon the thermometer mounted on 72-year-old Ray’s back.
Leap in Lake 2017
Event Benefits Local Special Needs Children:
Take for example Joey, who was present this year for the Leap in the Lake festivities. It was just nine years ago where the Lake Hopatcong Elks purchased him a walker, that helped him get out of his wheelchair and allowed him to walk around his classroom.
Since that time, the Elks have continued to assist him and others, and now Joey has an IPAD courtesy once again from the Elks, where he works on his Speech, Listens to iTunes, Watches Netflix and takes his own pictures.
Joey has become very independent thanks to the assistance from the Elks and fund-raisers like the Leap in the Lake. As proof of this independence. During the last year, Joey has attended his Prom, a Halloween Party, and a Christmas Party.
Ray the Oldest Jumper:
In speaking to Ray, who is 72 years old, and going through his forth Leap in the Lake. He states “I do this to stay young and to help save the children. The Lake Hopatcong Elks do so much good work, this is the least I can do to support them and their Special Needs Children. I have a thermometer mounted on my back so that I can compare this year’s event against the past years.
The Leaping Leprechauns:
Also, in speaking to Jean, who was the spokesperson for the Leaping Leprechauns who is making their Fifth Leap, Lake Hopatcong Regional News asked, “It’s cold, and the water is colder, why do you do this?” Jean’s answer was simple and straight forward. “We do this to support the Lake Hopatcong Elks, as they work 24/7 to help the local community and special needs children. This event only takes us a few hours, so it’s the least we can do to support their initiatives.”
The Emergency Teams (just in case):
Finally, we had an opportunity to speak to the emergency teams that were on-hand, which have been with this event from the start. They indicated that over the last eight years, the only injury’s or special needs are when people who had to navigate holes cut in the ice. Luckily this year the lake was not completely frozen over, which made that a non-issue and there were no known issues.
In addition, there were special teams in the lake equipped with dry suits, to keep themselves warm, and to give them the ability to quickly rescue anyone that had an issue with the adaption to the cold water or any other issue.
Lake Hopatcong Elks – Job Well Done!
Donations can still be made at: http://www.lakehopatcongelks.com/leap-in-the-lake