Taking the plunge for preemies

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More than 120 people plunged into the chilly waters of Greenwich Bay Saturday to assist families with the expenses of preemies.

Founded 10 years ago, Project Sweet Peas helps to support families with a baby in NICU. A NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for an infant can be financially challenging for families. Project Sweet Peas understands this need and provides grants on a monthly basis to families across the United States to help offset costs.

Through the grants, services such as living expenses including rent, mortgage, electricity, gas, car payment and waste. (Funds may not be utilized for cable television, internet or wireless payments); medical equipment including breastfeeding supplies and resources and prescription medications for the infant; parent lodging required for infant's stay; food expenses for parent required during infant's stay; childcare for infant's siblings; transportation including bus and cab fees as well as gas for personal vehicles and parking.

Project Sweet Peas held their 9th Annual Plunge for Preemies Saturday at the Warwick Country Club.

Attending from Warwick were Team Henry’s Heroes who were there dressed as Easter Bunny and Friends. In attendance from the team were Pat Lopes, Kevin and Gail Powers and brothers Henry and Jack Cooke. Henry, who is now 5 years old, was a preemie who was born six weeks early.

They won most original costumes as they dressed as an Easter Bunny, Easter Basket, a carrot, a chicken coming out of an egg and a bunny.

A total of 130 people, of all ages, joined them in the plunge as they ran through snow-covered beach into the freezing water. Water temperature was a bitter cold 38 degrees. The highest amount of donations were raised by Team Ninja out of Smithfield who raised approximately $10,000.

All proceeds benefit Project Sweet Peas, a registered nonprofit organization (EIN # 27-3679594) that provides care packages and services to families with an infant in the intensive care unit, and to those who have experienced a pregnancy and infant loss. To find out more about Project Sweet Peas, visit www.projectsweetpeas.com.

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