40 Islanders take the Heart Stopper plunge at Parndana | PHOTOS

More than 40 Kangaroo Islanders, some dressed in funky costumes, took the Heart Stopper Challenge at Parndana on Saturday, September 7.

The challenge took place after preliminary final football and netball matches at the Parndana sports ground.

It was organised by Bridget Turner and her partner Stephen Warena, whose 5-month-old nephew Elias, also know as Ejaay, has just undergone his 3rd open heart surgery.

Participants plunged into a pool of icy water to raise money and awareness for Heart Kids NZ.

The Challenge was to sit in 10-degree icy cold water for 360 seconds, and many who took the plunge were sure it was way colder than 10 degrees!

The plunge took place with three groups dressed in a weird assortment of costumes.

The first group was the ladies, including the Wonks netballers still in uniform.

The second group was the men, including Robert Kelly dressed in a wig and goggles, who entered the pool with a tremendous splash.

Also taking the plunge was Kangaroo Island mayor Michael Pengilly.

The third group were the local teenagers and large Hughie, who went into with such a flat belly flopper, he drenched everyone watching.

The Parndana CFS brigade supplied the pool and water, while the ice came from the Davo's Deli, the Parndana hotel, while Daniel Dunstan made some more.

There was a constant adding of bags of ice to the pond to ensure it maintained its freezing temperature and the condition.

There was music by played by Aroha Edwards, providing good vibes.

"We are devastated that we can't be in NZ to give our support to our beautiful family during such a tough time so this is how we showed our support," Bridget said.

"The reason behind the icy water is because when a baby/child has surgery they can fill their chest cavity with slushy cold water to slow the hearts requirement for oxygen.

"This can give the surgeons a longer window of operation time. This challenge is being done across NZ but we can't be there to do it and that's why we organised to do it here.

"It was a huge success. Stephen, myself and Ejaay's family are overwhelmed with the Islands support."

From selling raffle tickets, balloons, bubbles, sweets, lucky squares, face painting and donations, the event raised a huge $2342.

"A huge thanks to our amazing Kangaroo Island community. It was such a fun day with some really good laughs," she said.

"Ejaay's family and friends got to watch the challenge live on Facebook in NZ and said they 'can feel the love'.

"It isn't all about the generous amount of money we raised it is also about the awareness.

"From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who was involved and made it such a fun day."