In an effort to raise money for research and promote awareness towards a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, Jen Koke, whose daughter Camryn suffers from CF, coordinates the annual Polar Penguin Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness event that takes place at Founder’s Landing in Southold.
SFD Rescue Squad Lieutenant Janet Auer’s daughter Ericka who passed away in 2014 from Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 18 who loved Penguins (hence the name Polar Penguin Plunge) is honored yearly at this event and this year a special table was set up in her memory. Janet’s son Zac, 28, also suffers from CF but seems to be doing well on a new medication that for the most part was developed through national funding through events like the Polar Penguin Plunge. The Auer and Koke families are very appreciative to all who help out and participate in this special event.
The Southold Fire Department always has a large turnout to support Janet and Jen as well as helping to provide a safe scene and any needed after care. The water in the bay is still mighty c-c-c-cold! SFD provides specially trained water rescue personnel, divers and EMT’s as well as a warm ambulance to assist in counter-acting any exposure injuries that may occur.
Congratulations and kudos to all of the participants, young, old and in-between who braved the chilly water and brisk breezes while helping to raise Cystic Fibrosis awareness and research funding. "We look forward to next years event and hope to see you there!"