Polar plunge: Swimmers brave the cold waters for a cause

polar-bearOn New Year’s Day, with gray, overcast skies, frigid temperatures and the effects of a long night of ringing in the new year all bearing down on you, what’s the thing you most want to do?

 

If you said hurl yourself into a freezing cold Long Island Sound, then you were one of the many brave and hearty souls who withstood the elements on Tuesday afternoon to “take the plunge.” Polar bear swims are an East Coast tradition, as it’s been said that the cold water on a winter’s morn can be quite invigorating, but this is the first time one has been held at Greenwich Point to benefit Kids in Crisis.

On New Year’s Day at noon sharp, what was billed as the first annual “I Took the Plunge for Kids” polar plunge was held, with the proceeds going toward Kids in Crisis. It was free to attend and participate, but donations were suggested and limited edition T-shirts were on sale for $20. Kids in Crisis is the state’s only free, 24/7 agency for emergency shelter, crisis counseling and community education for children of all ages.

And with the water and the temperature certainly fitting for a polar bear and plenty of chances to warm up back on dry land after the swim was over, a fine but wet and cold time was had by all. More than a thousand people participated in the event, which is expected to return next year.

All photographs were taken by Post photographer John Ferris Robben.

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