Man completes year of ocean dips for ALS foundation

Monday, August 31, 2015
VIDEO: Year-round swimmer for charity
He pledged to take a dip in the ocean every single day for a year, not for fun, but for charity.

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. (WPVI) -- Monday was day number 365 and Island Heights car dealer Doug Maday dived into the water in Seaside Park completing his pledge to dip in the Atlantic Ocean every day for a year.

"It's bittersweet. It's nice to accomplish this and make it through the 365, but it's a little sad at the same time," Maday said.

Maday has taken a dip every day through Illness, bitter cold, and three Nor'easters, sometimes tying himself to a pier when the water was really rough.

We last caught up with him on New Year's Eve when it was 16 degrees outside with the wind chill. He's never worn a wetsuit though, he considers that cheating.

"I look back at that now it's like almost like somebody else did it. I don't know how I did that," Maday said.

His daily swims started out as a lark but turned into the ultimate ice bucket challenge.

He's managed to raise $6,000 for a foundation that helps families struggling with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"I got through because I thought about people who are having problems with ALS and that pushed me on," Maday said.

"It's a battle every day and Doug has in some way kind of reflected that challenge. it's just amazing what he's done," Sean McGovern of the Joan Dancy PALS Foundation said.

Maday says there were times when he felt like giving up. In February, for instance, his mother was in the hospital for surgery to implant a pacemaker.

That night he didn't make it into the water until almost 10:00 p.m. And it was no picnic.

"The water was 29 and the air was nine degrees; that was a real rough night," Maday said.

"He's got to be a little nuts, but it's for a good cause and we are so proud of him," friend Connie Hawkins said.

"The funny thing about it is he's the guy that wants to be in the background," friend Dough Fairfield said.

It hasn't always been easy, but Doug Maday says his year of daily swims, sometimes under the worst conditions, has taught him if you put your mind to it you can do anything.