11th annual April Fools Plunge in Chatham

– Beginning in 2008, members of the Chatham Fire Department have taken part in an April Fools’ Day “plunge” at one of their local beaches. In the first year, there was only ten participants and $200 raised. The participants vowed to get together every year and to spread the word, hoping more people would join in the fun. It was decided that each year, we would raise money for a different local individual or family in need, usually to assist with the financial burden of an illness or injury. Each year, the swim has grown immensely, both in the number of participants and in the funds raised. In the first 9 years of publicly advertising the swim, nearly $116,000 has been raised for local families. Aside from the financial assistance, the huge crowd generates an enormous emotional boost for the recipient and his/her family. It is truly a testament to the resolve of our local community, and it exemplifies the importance of everyone looking out for each other in our small community.

This year marks the 11th year that the April Fools from Chatham Fire have led the community into the frigid waters. On Monday, the “Fools” swam for Neville Coomber and his family at Hardings Beach. Neville passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last April at the age of 47, while working at his job as a chef at Eastward Ho! Country Club in Chatham, MA. Neville met his beloved wife Megan while working at Eastward Ho! Neville and Megan have three children: Cameron (age 17), Tristan (age 14) and Isabella (age 11). Neville has lived in Harwich since he was 3 years old, graduating from Harwich High School in 1987. The swim was a chance to come out and help celebrate Neville’s life and offer some emotional and financial support to Megan and the children. 100% of your donations go directly to the Coomber family to assist them in any way they see fit. There is no better way to slam the door on the lovely winter season than to take your first refreshing dip of the year!

If you would like to donate but were not able to attend, cash and checks can be sent to:

April Fools
Chatham Fire Department
135 Depot Rd.
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-2324

Photos by Mark Chludesnki/CWN

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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