Leslie Mura never thought she would see the day when she would put a bra made of sea shells on her husband, Louie.
But Louie Mura, a bartender at Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina in Cortez, had a dream that just wouldn’t die.
Mura wanted to win the 2017 Best Costume Award at Clancy’s Irish Pub’s 9th Annual Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge, which was held Sunday at Bradenton Beach.
Showing up on the beach as a mermaid, with a tangerine-colored wig, a shell bra, gold jewelry from the sea and a turquoise tail, an excited Mura was able to barely edge out — by virtue of spectator applause — Jen Bowman and her group of friends, who were dressed like dalmatians and woofing like dogs.
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“I love Louie, didn’t he look awesome?” Rayma Stowe, owner of Clancy’s with her husband, Mel, said in admiration of Mura’s winning costume.
“It’s all for the kids,” Mura said after enjoying his accomplishment for a few moments.
The kids Mura was referring to are those who benefit every year from the Plunge through Caring for Children Charities.
This year, an estimated 135 people, including Mura, were willing to dive into the chilly Gulf of Mexico for donations following the costume contest.
When the money was counted late Sunday, pledges to the Shiverers and other money-making events had raised $24,000 this year for disadvantaged children, said Clancy’s manager Dana Rothgery.
“We raised $28,000 one year but this is our second best,” Rothgery added.
Dallas Cowboys football brings $500
A football signed by Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott in the preseason and then presented to Clancy’s by Bradenton’s Richard Rigg and Jayne Hinkle fetched $500 at a silent auction Sunday, helping toward the $24,000 total, Rothgery said.
The winning bid for the ball was made by Dave Silva, Rothgery added.
With the $24,000 in 2017, the Shamrock Shiver has now raised roughly $193,770 in nine years for disadvantaged children in Manatee and Sarasota, Rothgery said.
On Sunday, the air was in the 80s but the water was in the 60s.
“It was cold,” Mura said, adding that his one-day status as a mermaid did not help with the chill.