Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge is Helping Re-build The Local Community

 A 114 year NYC New Years Day tradition, The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge, is now taking registrations. This year the event is supporting a slew of community nonprofits. Here are all the details.

For most of us, New Years Day is reserved for riding out a massive hangover and feeling sorry for ourselves. For some iron-skinned New Yorkers, the morning is all about living a 114-year tradition and diving in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island beach.

Is there a better way to bring in the new year? Well, actually yeah, hundreds of ways, but the new years day swim is raising cash for a lot of community non-profits, so maybe we’ll have to suck it up.

This year, The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge is raising funds to support the New York Aquarium, Alliance for Coney Island and other local arts and history organizations.

Coney Island is a neighborhood of 50,000 with a poverty rate close to 30% and is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean. Five years after Sandy, the Coney Island neighborhood is still in recovery. The Alliance for Coney Island is focused on improving the quality of life for its residents. Funds raised will support workforce development programs for local residents to connect them to job opportunities and neighborhood services, and increase their advocacy for clean water and educate the public about waste.

If riding out a hangover is your only plan for New Years Day, then consider how a dip in freezing waters will snap you out of it. The swim itself will begin at 10 am, take warm clothes, surf boots or old sneakers and towels. The NYC Parks Department provides changing facilities on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue.

Find out more info and how to register HERE.

Featured image source [Dave Bledsoe | Flickr]

 

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