(Madison Rogers/WBZ NewsRadio)
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Saturday marked the last plunge fundraiser for Pete Frates, the man who inspired the ice bucket challenge.
Frates died from ALS earlier this month. Over the years, the plunge was meant to help pay his medical bills. This weekend’s 8th annual plunge at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester will be the last one, with the money going toward Frates’ lingering bills.
More than 1,000 people attended the final plunge, and 400 signed up to run into the freezing water.
Saturday would have been Frates’ 35th birthday.
Chris Shaw has participated in the plunge for the last seven years, and said this weekend’s event had the biggest turnout he’s ever seen.
“Unbelievable on the beach. It’s just a testament to who Pete was. He brought people together,” Shaw said. “It’s not surprising in the slightest.”
It was also the first plunge for Frates’ widow, Julie.
“He is laughing so hard right now at me getting into the ocean,” Julie said. “This is the best birthday party you could ask for. And wherever he is, he’s very grateful.”
WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports