Normally the scene at Coopers Beach in Southampton on the Saturday of the second weekend in December is a mix of bundled up supporters, readily waiting to warm swimmers with towels, and those in bathing suits or the costume of their choice, shivering away as they await the annual holiday season dip into the Atlantic Ocean. But this year, if you didn’t know any better, Human Resources of the Hamptons’ Polar Bear Plunge looked and felt like an autumn day.
Plungers came out in full force, donning an amusing array of characters, including a Viking, Rastafarian, colonial inspired getups, a merman, and of course, superheroes, which Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and his family had covered, coming as Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. Several attendees took inspiration from the season, donning ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa Claus’ suits, reindeer antlers, elf outfits, and other festive garb.
For those taking the plunge or supporting the event, it was one of the mildest days in Polar Bear Plunge history. This year’s weather definitely made for a pleasant jump into the ocean, as the air temperature, at 55 degrees, was 16 degrees higher than in 2009 when it was just 39 degrees. The water temperature was 49 degrees, which was 2 degrees higher than in 2009.
After the mad dash, attendees stuck around and enjoyed complimentary refreshments during the Survivor’s Celebration.
Proceeds from the Polar Bear Plunge support the Food Pantry at Human Resources of the Hamptons, which operates the largest food distribution program on the East End. Over 350 families are enrolled, and Human Resources of the Hamptons offers fresh produce from local farms and also non-perishable food staples.
For more information about Human Resources of the Hamptons, visit www.hrhamptons.org.