New Year’s Eve Benefit Plunge Planned In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY – “Brawlers” will take on the frigid temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean at the turn of the New Year, as the Mayor and City Council approved another plunge, which seeks to raise funds for brain cancer research.

Matthew Kurowski of the non-profit organization Keep Punching, Inc. requested the approval of the new event, Winter Brawl, which will take place on the 81st Street beach on Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to Ocean City Private Event Coordinator Lisa Mitchell, the Winter Brawl is an event to raise money for brain cancer research as well to go toward patients who are suffering from the effects of the disease.

It is a family event estimating 30 to 50 participants with both children and adult plunging. The participants, or “brawlers, accept donations promising to plunge in the Atlantic Ocean.

Winter Brawl occurred in Ocean City last year as an unsanctioned event but came to the town this year to follow through with a private event request and permit process.

The Recreation and Parks Commission reviewed the application a few weeks ago but voiced concerns over Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) presence.

If the Mayor and City Council require EMS and OCBP presence, the organizer has requested the town provide the service and will pay the fee of $447 for three hours of one staffed medical unit as well as $280 for four beach patrol members and two vehicles for a total of four hours.

According to Councilman Dennis Dare, during this time of year the Town of Ocean City has three EMS units on staff with one at the downtown, mid-town and uptown fire stations. Dare suggested the mid-town unit be on stand-by for the event with the downtown and uptown units being on first-call for other incidents to save the event organizer from the large EMS fee.

“This is a charity but on the other hand we want to make sure we have adequate coverage … this would mean bringing in another unit for service during that time period and that can become expensive,” Dare said.

Knight made a motion to approve the event and to have City Manager David Recor converse with Fire Chief Chris Larmore on emergency care specifics. The council voted unanimously to approve.

Prior to the vote, Mayor Rick Meehan reminded the council Keep Punching, Inc. was founded by Daron Fisher, who worked as a copywriter with the Town of Ocean City’s advertising agency, MGH, in Baltimore.

According to Keep Punching’s website, ever since Fisher was young he motivated himself in hard times with the words “keep punching.” He learned the expression from Sylvester Stallone, who used it to autograph a media kit for Daron following the second Rocky movie. In 2010, when Fisher began the hardest challenge of his life following his diagnosis with brain cancer, Stallone’s words held special meaning to him. For three years, he kept punching, working not only to stay healthy, but also to help find a cure for the disease.

During 2013, the last year of his battle with a glioblastoma, Fisher and his wife, Beth, started the non-profit organization Keep Punching. The Fishers struggled with the idea that while researchers continue to speculate over promising treatments for brain cancer, few receive the necessary funding to determine the treatments’ efficacy. Fisher served as the organization’s president until he succumbed to the disease in August of 2013.

For more information on Keep Punching visit their website at, and for more information on the upcoming event visit