PHIPPSBURG, Maine — A group of young girls dressed in pink brightened up an otherwise bleak and rainy Friday at Small Point Beach in Phippsburg at the first annual Pink Pajama Plunge for breast cancer awareness.

Aleeya Jones, 12, a student at Wiscasset Christian Academy, said the she came up with the idea after visiting her cousin in Boston who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Aleeya’s eyes were wide open to what cancer can do to people. She was just really touched by it, and on the way home, she said ‘why does this happen to us and how can we help to not make it happen again,’” said Julie Jones, Aleeya’s mother.

After returning from her trip, Aleeya decided to organize the event to raise money for her cousin and for breast cancer awareness.

“She said, ‘I think we need to start with a plunge,’” said Julie. “She just gathered as many of her girlfriends in school and part of her volleyball team and said ‘we’re doing this.’ And she just wants to make it grow.”

A group of nine girls, made up of Aleeya’s family members, volleyball teammates and friends, participated in the event on Friday, taking a leap into the chilly waters dressed in all shades of pink.

Together, the girls have raised a total of $500 for breast cancer awareness.

“She was just touched by how strong her cousin was and just wanted to do something. I’m just super proud of her,” said Julie.

However, this event is just the beginning, as Aleeya said she has been brainstorming more ideas to grow the program and make it bigger every year.

After the plunge, the shivering girls huddled together and exclaimed how cold the water was, but the verdict was unanimous: “it was totally worth it and we should do it again.”