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Rugby Team Organizes and Hosts Plunge for Hunger

Published on February 12, 2015

Rugby Team Organizes and Hosts Plunge for Hunger

Eastern Connecticut State University’s rugby team hosted the fourth annual Plunge for Hunger in Lauter Park on Feb. 7 to benefit the Covenant Soup Kitchen. While Assistant rugby coach Ray Aramini initially encouraged the team to participate, they have continued to show initiative. “After the first year, players said, ‘This is too good to stop. We need to continue it,’” explained Aramini.

The event consisted of hundreds of people running into the frigid Natchaug River to raise money to fight hunger in the Willimantic region. The rugby team not only helped organize the event, but sponsor, promote and publicize it as well. “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this community,” said Aramini, “and impressed by these young men that organize the Plunge.”

In addition to being among the top rugby programs in their division, Eastern’s rugby team has been personally involved with Willimantic’s Covenant Soup Kitchen for the past 20 semesters. When asked about the team’s constant involvement in community service, Aramini responded: “If we are members of the community, it’s imperative to give back—that’s the cornerstone of the club. To help those that are having trouble helping themselves.”

About 800 members of the local community showed up to support the Covenant Soup Kitchen and 200 actually took the plunge themselves in sub-freezing temperatures. So far, this year’s plunge has raised approximately $32,000, which will be generously matched by the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation. With the foundation’s contributions, approximately $64,000 has been raised so far. Aside from a few big donations, much of this money came from small personal donations made by local community members.

Written by Ryan King