Polar Bear Plunge Donates $60,000 To Nine Coney Island Groups

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Photo: John Delaney/WCS

CONEY ISLAND – The Polar Bear Plunge has come and gone and now so have the $60,000 in donations.

The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge announced that $60,000 raised by those participating in the icy plunge on New Year’s day, will be going to nine community organizations: The NY Aquarium, Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island USA, Coney Island History Project, Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers, the NY State Marine Education Association, NYC Parks Foundation, Parachute Literary Arts, and the Coney Island YMCA.

The recent Polar Bear Plunge brought thousands of people out in the cold running in the water including Borough President Eric Adams, who was there to celebrate the first New Year’s day in decades that both he and his mother were diabetes-free.

“We are proud and excited to have been the fundraising partner for the historic 115th New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge,” Executive Director of the Alliance for Coney Island Alexandra Silversmith said. “This year was phenomenal and record-breaking in all aspects and we are ecstatic to put our donation to good use to continue providing free events to Coney Islanders and visitors.”

The nine organizations each received a different amount of donation. The largest amount, $24,000, went to the Alliance for Coney Island to support its free summer events such as the weekly Friday Night Fireworks, job recruitment events, and advocacy for improvements to the Coney Island community.

The second largest donation of $20,000 went to the NY Aquarium to help support its New York Seascape program for studying whale and shark populations, restoring healthy populations of alewife herring and American eels to local waterways, and building a local marine conservation constituency in Coney Island.

NY Aquarium representative receiving a check. (Photo: Daniel Turkewitz)

Coney Island USA, Coney Island History Project, Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers, the NY State Marine Education Association, NYC Parks Foundation, and Parachute Literary Arts each received donations ranging from $500 to $10,000. The Coney Island YMCA was awarded $3,000 for its summer camp scholarship program.

“A big thank you to the Polar Bear Club and all of the participants in this year’s event,” Jon Forrest Dohlin, Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. “This money will help our scientists study and protect our local marine ecosystems and the wildlife found in our waters around New York…including the Polar Bears found in Coney Island!”

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