Ringing in the New Year in the Hamptons? East End polar bear plungers have two opportunities to dash into the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day.
The first, at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa (290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, www.gurneysresorts.com), will take place at 10:30 a.m. There will be complimentary hot beverages and towels available.
Then, it’s time to “get freezin’ for a reason” – several Hamptons food pantries – during the annual East Hampton Food Pantry Polar Bear Plunge at Main Beach in East Hampton (101 Ocean Avenue, East Hampton, easthamptonfoodpantry.org). Brave plungers will make the trek into the ocean at 1 p.m. and don’t forget to come in festive attire, as there will be a prize for best costume. It is recommended that participants allow ample time to park and register.
“The Amagansett, East Hampton, Springs and Wainscott Food Pantries are looking forward to this year’s Annual Polar Bear Plunge as all of the food pantries rely on this fundraiser to help get us through the winter months,” noted Vicki M. Littman, East Hampton Food Pantry Chairperson. “We are grateful to the EH Ocean Rescue and EH Hurricanes Swim Team who organize this annual fundraiser.”
In addition to the mad dash, there will be a 50/50 raffle and apparel for sale, and those that “get freezin’ for a reason” will be treated to complimentary hot food and refreshments.
“If you are unable to plunge you can still can come and support this event as there will be raffles and merchandise to purchase along with free refreshments,” Littman added.
This year’s merchandise will feature a logo designed by Molly Howard, a senior at the Ross School. Each year the Plunge hosts a Polar Bear Plunge Logo Contest, open to local students, and the winner’s creation is used on the hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts available for purchase at the Plunge.
Admission to the East Hampton Food Pantry’s Polar Bear Plunge is a $35 donation to the Pantry, however participants are encouraged to get sponsors and raise even more for the non-profit whose mission is to assist the food insecure in the town of East Hampton.
Last year, the East Hampton Food Pantry provided aid to 6,230 households and 14,296 individuals – from Wainscott to Montauk. The Pantry’s goal is “to maintain a center for food collection, storage and distribution, to reach out to those in need, to raise public awareness and to encourage and solicit support from individuals, businesses, fraternal and philanthropic organizations, religious institutions and the like, through volunteerism and donations of food and/or funds.”
Currently, through their East Hampton location and Amagansett satellite location, the Pantry serves 300 families on a weekly basis.
The Pantry relies solely on food drives and monetary donations, making events like the Plunge vital.
For those not in the Hamptons the weekend of the Polar Bear Plunge, make sure to catch the action live on the Hamptons.com Main Beach Camera.