Pledge to Plunge event raises $21,700 for River Essence Group projects

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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NILES — Local community members braved the icy waters of a dunk tank for a cause Sunday afternoon.

The River Essence Group’s Pledge To Plunge event raised $21,728 Sunday afternoon at Front Street Pizza Pub.

The Pledge to Plunge, a fundraiser competition that ran through the month of March, was created to raise money for REG projects. The REG is a nonprofit organization founded to enhance the economic and social vitality of the Niles community.

“I’m so excited about it because we can just do more,” said REG President Vikki Jurgonski. It just frees us up to keep downtown pretty and beautify it. I’m really excited about it and I think you can see all the people were behind it and that and the plungers were behind it. This was a really awesome thing for Niles today.”

The fundraiser consisted of 10 teams competing to raise the most money by the end of the month. Each team had a dedicated “plunger” who would be dropped in a dunk tank as part of the event’s festivities.

Dozens of guests turned out for the event to see the plungers plummet into the frigid water, including Niles Mayor Nick Shelton, who plunged on behalf of REG.

“I’m just so grateful for Vicki, the River Essence Group and all of the volunteers who put their time, energy and resources into making our town look nice,” he said. “So many people today are coming together to do the same thing and they all have a like-minded goal and that’s to make our community better. I’m just so appreciative of everything they’re doing.”

Jurgonski was pleased with turnout in support of REG and thanked Front Street Pizza, the plungers, attendees and REG volunteers for helping make the event a success.

“You can feel the energy,” Jurgonski said. “It’s been a tough couple weeks in Niles and you can see people still want the best for Niles. We all came together, we gathered and did this amazing fun event and it was good for everybody.”