For Gerdau employees, it's a tradition of giving back that has lasted a decade: jumping into near-freezing water for Special Olympics New Jersey.
Gerdau had 18 team members from the Sayreville steel mill participate in the Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights Saturday, Feb. 25. They raised $1,800 for Special Olympics New Jersey. This is the 10th year Gerdau has had team members participate in the plunge.
"Although it was a beautiful day, hovering around 60 degrees, the water was still only 42 degrees," Megan Carson, human resources manager, said.
The water temperature wasn't a deterrent – and has never been one – for Gerdau team members in their 10 years of taking the plunge.
"There is nothing like jumping in the Atlantic Ocean in February," Carson said.
In addition to raising money for Special Olympics New Jersey, as part of Gerdau's long history of social responsibility initiatives, the Polar Bear Plunge is an opportunity for team members to bond with each other and spend time with their families.
This year, the Polar Bear Plunge had over 6,700 participants and raised over $1.8 million. Special Olympics New Jersey provides year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities and health screenings to more than 25,000 athletes for free.