Locals Were Freezin' For a Reason


Hundreds of people in Riis Park were Freezin’ for a Reason on Saturday, March 23, and not just because of the chilly spring day. They took it a splash further by jumping into the ocean as part of the 5th Annual Queens Polar Plunge. Despite the cold temps, spirits were kept warm by the reason everyone participated—to raise money for Special Olympics New York.

Dozens of groups and hundreds of individuals came out strong for the cause that will help support Special Olympics programs across the state. This year, the top fundraising team was Phelan Cold for Emily. The team took the dip in honor of Emily Hutton, a local Special Olympics participant, who died in August 2014. Hutton has been the inspiration for the plunge since it began. The team raised more than $5,000 for the event.

According to the online fundraising page for the event, more than $29,000 was raised, but this number is expected to be much higher after day-of donations are tallied up. The event typically raises $50,000, which is enough to support 125 athletes in one sport through Special Olympics.

Congratulations to all of the brave souls who took the dip for a great cause!


Photos provided by Ray Otton.