What’s the coolest thing to do this weekend? The Heart of the Hamptons’ 16th annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, December 14, at 10 AM at Coopers Beach in Southampton.
Upon the explosion of a very small cannon, hundreds will dive into the Atlantic Ocean, many in festive costumes, to support the nonprofit founded more than 30 years ago. Local fire departments, ambulance companies, ocean water rescuers, and surfers will all be on-hand in the event of an emergency, for those concerned about any frosty temperatures. After the plunge, hot drinks and food will be served at the pavilion.
The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Heart of the Hamptons, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the organization’s year-round food pantry; home-delivered meals; clothing room; heating, rental and utility bill assistance programs; and handyman service for seniors. Through the help of over 50 dedicated volunteers, Heart of the Hamptons works alongside local schools, civic organizations, churches, and other food pantries to ensure needs of the community are met. Its services aid over 500 households and 1500 people.
In October, the organization distributed 6782 meals to 232 households. In addition, three women, Betty Arnister, Suzanne Berkowski, and Barbara Sacher, knitted 20 hats and 20 pairs of mittens to be given to children through the holiday program.
Since its humble beginnings in 2004, the Polar Bear Plunge has raised more than $800,000. Last year, Heart of the Hamptons raised close to $98,000. This year, it upped the ante, and is well on its way to its $125,000 goal. The Bathing Corporation of Southampton has pledged to match all plunger
Registration can be done as a team or individually, at $25 per person. All participants receive a free hat. Heart of the Hamptons is headquartered at 168 Hill Street in Southampton. Register online at www.heartofthehamptons.org.