Polar Bear Club Dives In For Children’s Charity

Some just come for the view. (Source: Howard N2GOT via Flickr)

This year’s (next year’s?) January 1, Coney Island Polar Dip into the Atlantic Ocean  – a Brooklyn New Year’s tradition for decades – will help raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

The Coney Island Polar Bear Club (est. 1903), which organizes the event, is looking to top last year’s total of $50,000, setting an ambitious goal of $60,000 to go towards the charity.

The bears plan to get a boost from local businesses, which they hope will put their target within arm’s reach.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, this year the Polar Bear Club is reaching out to companies and clubs throughout the tri-state area, encouraging them to sponsor teams of swimmers.

Anyone braving the cold who makes a donation to Camp Sunshine will receive free breakfast, as well as a day pass to the New York Aquarium.  The Polar Bear Club is asking those taking an invigorating dip to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges.

If you’d like to participate, the meeting point is on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Registration begins at 10 a.m. for the 1 p.m. event, so please arrive early. Swimmers are encouraged to bring warm clothes, blankets, surf boots or old sneakers, and towels.

The parks department will reportedly be providing facilities to change clothes.

For more details, please visit polarbearclub.org.