Chatham Fire announces 16 annual Polar Plunge to benefit firefighter in need

CHATHAMFrom Chatham Fire: Beginning in 2008, members of the Chatham Fire Department have taken part in an April Fools’ Day “plunge” at one of our local beaches. In the first year, there were 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 15 years of publicly advertising the swim, nearly $186,000 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 strength of our local community, and it exemplifies the importance of everyone looking out for each other in our small community.

This year marks the 16th year that the April Fools from Chatham Fire have led the community into the frigid waters. The Chatham Firefighters have done an outstanding job of rallying the community behind some amazingly brave people. This year, we are asking for the community to help one of our own, Chatham Firefighter Vance Bates. Vance has been a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Chatham Fire Department since 2005. This past year, he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, for which he began treatment in December 2022. Vance’s treatments have taken a toll physically, requiring him to miss time from work. During his treatment, Vance’s wife Adrian suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on December 22, 2022. She was rushed into emergency surgery that same day. While she is making incredible strides in her recovery, Adrian is also now unable to work. Vance has taken care of his community with pride and professionalism, and it is our turn to take care of him. We hope to make this our biggest and best swim yet. There is no better way to slam the door on the winter season than to take your first refreshing dip of the year!

Please join us Saturday, April 1st at 11:30 PM at Hardings Beach in Chatham. Donations of all amounts are graciously accepted. T-shirts will be available for $25 prior to the event and any remaining will be sold at the swim. A post-swim BBQ will be held at the Chatham VFW immediately following the swim.

If you would like to donate but are not able to attend, you may donate online via the “Support for Vance and Adrian Bates” GoFundMe page, or cash and checks may be sent to:
April Fools
Chatham Fire Department
135 Depot Rd.
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-2324
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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