Spring is right around the corner, so why not kick off the season with a dip in the ocean? On Saturday, March 25, hundreds will be Freezin’ For a Reason at the third annual Rockaway Polar Plunge benefitting Special Olympics New York.
Last year, more than 300 people jumped into the ocean and many more looked on during this new annual tradition. From friends, to families, to business owners and even Special Olympics athletes, everyone took the plunge for a good cause. Organizers are hoping to have even more participation this year. They’re set out with a goal of raising $60,000 to support Special Olympics New York programs, one of which takes place at St. Camillus in Rockaway. Last year’s plunge raised $37,000. With the event less than 10 days away, nearly $20,000 has been raised so far, but organizers are hoping they’ll close in on their big goal with more participation.
The event takes place at Bay 9 in Riis Park on Saturday, March 25, with day-of registration starting at 10 a.m. Participants will take the plunge at noon and will then be able to dry off and head to the Bungalow Bar on Beach 92nd Street to warm up at the after-party. The after-party, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., will feature food and plenty of fun. The plunge is dedicated in memory of one of Rockaway’s own special athletes and a former employee of the Bungalow Bar, Emily Hutton, who passed away in August 2014. Team Emily’s Favorites will be taking the plunge in honor of Emily.
Every Plunger that raises $150 receives an official Plunge sweatshirt and will receive even more great prizes for raising more money. For those who are “Too Chicken to Plunge,” there will be a chicken coop for spectators to take pictures, and “Too Chicken to Plunge” t-shirts will be available for purchase. If you don’t want to plunge, but raise $150, you will still receive an official Polar Plunge sweatshirt.
Special Olympics New York has 67,162 (2015 census) athletes training and competing year-round in 22 Olympics-style sports. The athletes and their families or caregivers are never charged to participate. It costs $400 to support training and competition for one athlete for one sports season. If you set your plunge goal at $400, you’ll support an athlete for an entire season.
To find out more or to pre-register, head to www.polarplungeny.org/rockaways
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