BEACON, N.Y. -- Matt Santoro, a Beacon resident, knows the water is going to be cold Saturday. But he'll do whatever it takes to raise money for Alzheimer's Disease.
Santoro, a member relations supervisor for TEG Credit Union, is one of the many hundreds of people taking part in the Alzheimer's Association Hudson Valley Chapter's seventh annual Subzero Heroes fundraiser by plunging into Berean Lake in Highland.
Money raised by Subzero Heroes benefits the Hudson Valley Chapter’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which fuels the Alzheimer’s Association’s initiatives of care, support and research.
Subzero Heroes began in Feb. 2010 when 25 people jumped into Freedom Lake in LaGrange while approximately 80 others watched. Nearly 1,000 attendees are expected at this year's event. Many heroes and their sidekicks don colorful costumes, creating a festive feeling.
This is Santoro's fourth year taking part in the plunge.
"I know a couple of people who have had Alzheimer's," Santoro said. "We need to find a cure for it."
Santoro, who often volunteers for causes like Relay For Life, said he was drawn in by the thrill of jumping into a lake in the winter.
"It's cold," Santoro admits. "But it's thrilling. It's fun to see how many people come together for this cause. You feel like you're part of the community."
The last two years have been especially cold, so Santoro is hoping for a milder Saturday. He stays in the water for about 30-40 "long" seconds, hoping it will pay off down the road.
"Alzheimer's hurts the people who have it and the family members ho have to deal with their loved ones going through it," Santoro said.
Santoro said he will try to wear something superhero or sports themed, having learned his lesson the one time he was decked out in full superhero costume.
"The fewer layers you have on, the better," Santoro said. "It becomes difficult to take off."
Subzero Heroes takes place on Saturday. Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m. and jumping in begins at noon. Participants are asked to park in the Bridgeview Plaza at 3650 Route 9W in Highland in front of Tractor Supply Co. to be bussed to the jump site. The bus will run in a continuous loop between the Bridgeview Plaza and the jump site from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.subzeroheroes.org.
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