Instead of dressing up in black and white, fundraisers for the inaugural Cupid Splash benefit for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay will be wearing bows and wings – and maybe even a bathing suit.
Nine beaches across the state will host the costumed dip-and-dash on April 2 , which raises money for their free events and programs, like the near-annual Dorchester Beach Festival. (The event was originally set for Feb. 12, but was postponed this week.)
With water temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, the plan is for attendees to go in up to their ankles or knees at noon, said Bruce Berman, director of strategy, communications and programs for Save the Habor/Save the Bay.
“This is a splash, not a big swim,” he said. “We’re really looking for people to run in the water and run on out.”
The nine participating beaches include Dorchester, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Quincy, Hull, Provincetown, Lynn and Nahant. So far, Malibu Beach in Dorchester is in third place for fundraising, behind South Boston’s Carson Beach and Revere. As of press time, almost $13,000 had been raised.
Fundraisers are encouraged to dress up for the quick swim, which was inspired by the annual Santa Speedo Run.
Matt Wolfe, vice president of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the team captain for Dorchester, said he is hoping for the splash to be a “visually fun event,” and plans to wear wings and a halo.
“We’re going to be in for maybe 10 seconds, but watching a bunch of people dressed up as cupids with wings and stuff running into the water and running out is going to be hysterical,” he said.
Afterward, Jasper White’s Summer Shack will be on hand to provide cupids with chowder soup, and Savin Scoop will offer hot chocolate and coffee. Harpoon is also sponsoring “warm-up” after-parties at nearby locations, like the Harp and Bard.
Whichever beach raises the most money will get a $1,000 grant, and the person or group who raises the most will win round-trip tickets from JetBlue. There will also be a raffle for round-trip tickets for anyone who raises over $100, and prizes for the best Cupid costume.
“People just see JetBlue and think, ‘take me to the tropics somewhere, someplace warm,’” said fundraiser Maureen McQuillen, of the Dorchester Beach Festival. “I think that’s going to be a big initiative to get people raising money.
The event is also to commemorate Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s 25th anniversary, with the group donating $25,000 to the upkeep of local beaches last year. Organizers hope to raise at least half of that with the Cupid Splash.
“When you find a creative way [to fundraise] that works, you have to be excited about it,” Berman said. “And when it involves chowder, and beer, and a chance to win round trip airline tickets – and it’s really easy – you want to do it.”