Thumbnail Photo: Getty Images / Armend Nimani
Tomorrow, community members will chip away ice on Lake Hopatcong and then jump in to support local special needs individuals.
This years 10th annual Leap in the Lake is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Hopatcong State Park. Recently, the National Weather Service has clocked water temperatures at 38 degrees.
Rick Gathen, committee chairman for the event and member of the Lake Hopatcong Elks #782 said, "We have a very charitable community that gives a lot to the special needs community."
Over the years, this event has grown to about 400 participants annually and about 50 volunteers.
Each year, the Leap in the Lake raises about $50,000 for special needs youth up to 21 years old who have physical or developmental challenges. Funds raised by Lake Hopatcong Elks have also benefited special needs adults in the community.
Gathen noted that typically special needs families will be at the lodge during the event and are often presented with a check from donations that day.
Volunteer Belinda Martin said, "I am thankful that an organization like the Elks exists to be there for the children in our community... I was compelled to donate my time and services to help bring more attention to their efforts."
If you would like to take part in this event, you can read more information here .
Too shy to jump into the lake? You can be a "virtual leaper" and donate on the Hopatcong Elks' website .
Source: The NJ Herald