A polar bear plunge is an event where each person participating will go into a body of water, no matter the temperature. In the United States this is usually to raise money for a certain charity. Sometimes there are celebrities that participate, in order to draw more attention to the event and also to draw more people willing to participate, in order to make even more money for the charity. There are also many companies and businesses that will sponsor these events in support of the charity. There are several plunges that happen on a regular basis every year. These events are usually held in Seattle, New York’s Coney Island Polar bear Club, Lake George NY, Boston and New Jersey. There is also a special polar bear plunge held in Minnesota to raise money for the Special Olympics.
The Plungapalooza is one event that is held in Maryland, and is considered to be one of the largest polar bear plunges in the United States. This plunge is held annually at the Sandy Point State Park. This particular polar bear plunge is also to raise money for the Special Olympics as well. In 2007 this event was sponsored by the Maryland State Police Department and raised 2.2 million dollars and had over seven thousand participants. In the 2008 event they had 12,000 people participating in this polar bear plunge.
In Delaware, Lewes Polar bear Plunge has an annual polar bear plunge in order to raise money for the Special Olympics. This event is held on the first Sunday in February and has developed into a very unique Delaware event and also become one of the most significant fundraisers for the Special Olympics. In 2011 they will be celebrating their twenty year anniversary of this wonderful event. This event is so special and meaningful because it brings together many different people, from all different ages, genders, and even different income levels, to raise money for a meaningful cause. This particular event has raised over five million dollars since it beginning.
In Canada these events are known as Polar bear swims, Plunges or Dips. These events are a New Years Day tradition across most the countries, in various cities. In Vancouver’s BC annual Polar bear Swim Club they have been participating in this event since 1920. They usually have anywhere from one thousand to two thousand people registered to participate in this event. They even had a record of over 2100 participants ready to plunge into the English Bay in the year 2000. The participants in this event are not required to register, so the actual number of people who make the plunge may be more then what is on record. The number of people just there to observe can be up in the tens of thousands. Suburban White rock polar bear club was founded in 1958 which also hold plunge events like these, as well as Port Moody and North Vancouver.
No matter who and where this event happens, there are plenty of people willing to make the, sometimes more often than not, very icy plunge into the water. The support given to these events just shows us to what lengths people will go to in order to help out someone less fortunate than them. Just be sure if you plan to participate in one of these Polar bear Plunges, you get ready to experience something like you never have before. Just to see the vast amounts of people at these events is enough to keep you warm in the coldest water, so go ahead and take the plunge.