BEVERLY — Pete Frates can’t wait to spend his 29th birthday this Saturday at the beach.
Watching his family, friends and the many people that care about him jump into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, that is.
More than 170 people have already signed up to take the 2nd annual ‘Plunge For Pete’ this Saturday at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. All proceeds from the event, which begins at 1 p.m., go to benefit The Pete Frates #3 Fund.
A Beverly native and three-sport star at St. John’s Prep who went on to captain the Boston College baseball team, Frates was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in the spring of 2012. Since that time, he and his tight-knit family have been staunch advocates in the fight against ALS and finding a cure for it.
A year ago 100 brave souls braved the 35-degree temperatures to take the plunge and raised money for ALS by having people sponsor them. By the time this Saturday rolls around, the Frates’ feel the number of plungers could be more than double than what it was last December.
“It’s been simply amazing, the support we’ve been getting,” said Nancy Frates, Pete’s mother.
Pete’s brother-in-law, Dan Mayo, and Tom Saxton, a Boston College classmate of John and Nancy Frates, both work at Morgan Stanley in New York City and have raised close to $25,000. Darlene Sawacki, Pete’s nurse practitioner at the ALS Clinic at Mass. General, is plunging along with eight of her family members. And Swampscott’s Dave Portnoy, who runs the highly popular ‘Barstool Sports’ website (”Pete’s a big Stoolie,” his mother laughed) and Team Barstool Sports are also participating and drawing awareness to the cause.
People can both sign up to plunge (”Freezin’ For a Reason”, as the Frates’ like to say) or pledge a plunger through Pete’s website, www.PeteFrates.com.