The first notable snowfall of the season didn’t deter 374 East Enders – some in memorable costumes – from dashing into the ocean at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton during Heart of the Hamptons’ 14th Polar Bear Plunge.
At 10 a.m. sharp, the large group of brave participants took the plunge into the 47-degree water. Luckily, once they were done, plungers were able to warm up immediately in hot tubs right on the beach provided by Harbor Hot Tubs. Attendees could also keep toasty by fire pits.
“For 14 years, the Polar Bear Plunge has been a highlight of our local community during the holiday season,” reflected Bill Pell, president of the charity’s Board of Directors. “It really is great to see a celebration of the community coming together to help its local people.”
Additional plunge happenings included music, cannon fire by the Southampton Militia, complimentary hot dogs and coffee, and Santa spottings.
Overall, it was another successful event for Heart of the Hamptons, raising $74,000 which will support the non-profit’s mission of “helping people in our local community who are in need, without discrimination, in a dignified manner” through a “multi-faceted Assistance Program offering crisis intervention, medical assistance funding, aid for seniors, school supplies and summer lunches for school children, and a meals program for the homebound.” Heart of the Hamptons helps over 1,500 people each year.
“It is humbling to see how many people turned out,” Pell added.
For more information about Heart of the Hamptons, visit heartofthehamptons.org.