By: Chloe Leshner


SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) -- Dozens of people remember the Chariho soccer player who suddenly died in September by participating in a polar plunge to help raise money for the foundation her family has started in her honor.

Maddie's jersey number was 11. All of the money raised today will go toward giving 3 Chariho students scholarships for $1,100 each, in her honor.

Dozens of people took the plunge Sunday, running straight into the ocean in the middle of January.  To Maddie Potts' parents, it's another sign the community is supporting their family as they grieve the sudden loss of their 17 year old daughter.  Maddie collapsed on the soccer field in September from a brain aneurysm.

"We couldn't have gotten through the last close to 4 months without every single person, I mean the turnout today, to jump into the water under these circumstances it just shows how dedicated they are how much Maddie meant to them," says Stephanie Potts.

Potts says they have Maddie to thank for the beautiful conditions Sunday and she's thankful the organizers of this plunge chose to support their foundation.

"We've been doing this for 12 years now and this year we thought the unfortunate incident with Maddie we thought it was more than appropriate," says one of the organizers Mark Mastin.

Money raised will go toward scholarships and eventually help update the school's facilities. The event was originally scheduled for January first but canceled because of dangerously cold temperatures. Maddie's mom says at noon that day, it was only 11 degrees. Eleven was Maddie's jersey number.

"The coincidences and the signs that we see everyday is also part of what gets us through," says Potts.

The organizers of this polar plunge say this is the largest turnout they've ever had. So far, they've raised $2,000 for the foundation.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018