Men’s Rugby Team Flexes its Tough and Compassionate Sides

The plunge

The rugby team participated in a fundraising polar dip at Portland’s East End Beach on Jan. 30

The men’s rugby team plunged into the ocean in late January as part of a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine, a Maine summer camp for children with life threatening illnesses.

Team members raised $3,795 for the organization before they stripped down to their bathing suits and dunked underneath the sea water before speeding back to dry land.

The team’s leader, Jared Feldman ’16, said that the players have wanted to have a larger presence on campus and to get more involved with social causes. “We have a lot of man power,” he said. “We could make an impact if we did a little bit of work off the field.”

Frankie Pappalardo ’18, of Gorham, Maine, was the first to suggest to the team that it take on the challenge of raising money for Camp Sunshine by participating in the organization’s Portland Polar Dip. His whole family has been involved with Camp Sunshine for many years. His grandparents volunteered there for more than two decades. “I’ve been part of Camp Sunshine my entire life,” he said.

Rugby players’ families and the team’s alumni were generous with donations, according to Feldman. “We have an incredibly close and caring group of alumni who support us constantly,” he said.

Besides helping sick children attend Camp Sunshine and surviving the deep freeze, the team also accomplished another feat. “Anyone who jumps into freezing cold water together becomes closer,” Feldman said.

Pappalardo said he’s hoping the rugby team makes the Camp Sunshine dip an annual tradition.

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