AmericanTown’s Heroes: It’s Polar Bear Plunge Season!

What do polar bears have to do with fundraising? Nothing, unless the polar bears are really people who brave the frigid ocean waters to raise money for charity.

Polar bear plunges are a tradition in parts of the world, like in Canada, The Netherlands and the UK where it is one way people celebrate New Year’s Day. No doubt it helps shake off any sluggishness from the night before.

In the United States, polar bear plunges are typically held in the winter months in places like Maryland, Minnesota, New York and Oregon as fundraisers for charitable organizations. In Seattle, Washington they have been holding an annual event since 1993. When added all together, it is estimated tens of thousands of people race into the ocean alongside kindred spirits at plunges across the country.

Thanks to the yearly turnout, the Polar Bear Plunge in Wildwood, New Jersey is able to help more than 25,000 athletes engaged with Special Olympics with various efforts over the course of the year, including making more programs available to more children. And you don’t even have to get wet! Most clubs will gladly accept your donations or let you purchase commemorative gear to contribute to the effort. Impress your friends or keep them guessing about whether you really made the plunge or just bought the shirt!

Do you know someone or a group of people who go to extraordinary measures to make fundraising a fun and stimulating experience? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.

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