This Woodbridge man raised more than $5,000 to help women who suffer from fistulas on July 10, International Skinny Dip Day.
On Saturday, July 10 about 100 people gathered, in the nude, at Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook.
This is not news, as Gunnison Beach is New Jersey’s only legal “clothing-optional” beach and has been that way since the late 1970s.
However, what is news is that on this particular Saturday, the 100 people who met in the buff did so to raise money for the Fistula Foundation, which helps women overseas who have suffered fistulas in childbirth.
The charity nude beach day was organized by Woodbridge resident Thomas Francine, 34.
In total, Francine’s event raised $5,275, all of which will go directly to the Fistula Foundation, which provides life-changing surgery for women in extremely poor and developing parts of the world.
Three attendees personally each donated $586, which is the cost of one fistula-repairing surgery per woman. The Fistula Foundation has an anonymous donor matching all donations specifically to Nigeria for the month of July, so that donation of $5,275 will actually be doubled, said Francine.
Francine said he tries to visit Gunnison Beach at least a few times every summer.
“I don’t consider myself a nudist. It’s not like I’m trying to be naked all the time wherever I can,” he said. “But as a child and young adult, I was extremely shy. And I found that being naked in front of other people was really powerful and helped me overcome my shyness. Exposing your flaws to the world can be a powerful experience, even if it’s just for one day or a brief skinny dip.”
The second Saturday in July, or July 10, is always International Skinny Dip Day, which celebrates the natural experience of a clothing-free swim, and concludes National Nude Recreation Week.
Original publication 21 July, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 13th August 2021
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