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Heart Of The Hamptons Aiming To Raise $100,000 Through 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge

Nicole Barylski

Last year's Plunge raised $88,700 and this year HOH hopes to reach $100,000. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini/www.hamptonsphotog.com)

The time to "get freezin' for a local reason" has come.

Heart of the Hamptons (HOH) will host the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Cooper's Beach (268 Meadow Lane, Southampton) on Saturday, December 8 - at 10 a.m. sharp.

"The Plunge is going to be another fun year!" Hilton Crosby, MS, Heart of the Hamptons Executive Director, shared. "Please come out to support a great cause that helps local people."

Last year's Plunge raised $88,700 and this year HOH hopes to reach $100,000.

Attendees are encouraged to don a costume - so expect to see a sea of Santas, superheroes, and other creative outfits.

"If you want to jump, Great!" Crosby said. "If not, come out and show your support for the local community!"

Those that plan on taking the daring dash must be registered by 9:30 a.m. on December 8. There is a $25 registration fee, however plungers are encouraged to get sponsors to assist HOH reach this year's fundraising goal. Plungers will be treated to complimentary soup, chili, hot dogs, donuts, and coffee from Catena's, Golden Pear, and 7-Eleven.

Each year Heart of the Hamptons serves more than 1,500 people within the local community through outreach programs. Funds raised at the Plunge allows HOH to restock its pantry shelves with nutritious food and offer assistance to children, families, senior citizens and veterans in need. HOH's Assistance Programs focus on providing aid in regards to rental support, utilities, gasoline, medical needs, job loss, accidents or other misfortunes, as well as meals for the homebound, complimentary clothing for those in need, a summer Lunchbox Kids program and Backpack Kids program, and more.

However, if "get freezin' for a local reason" isn't really your thing, Heart of the Hamptons is also gearing up for its Holiday Star Program.

Seasonal trees at Our Lady of Poland (35 Maple Street, Southampton), First Presbyterian Church (2 Main Street, Southampton), The Corcoran Group (8 Main Street, Southampton), People's United Bank (295 North Sea Road, Southampton), La Carezza (45 Windmill Lane, Southampton), and The Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (168 Hill Street, Southampton) are adorn with very meaningful little red star ornaments. These special decorations contain the Christmas wishes of local children whose family are going through a difficult period. Participants are asked to purchase the gift and return the present to either HOH or where they plucked the star.

HOH is also looking for volunteers to help sort through and arrange the holiday presents on Monday, December 17, Tuesday, December 18 and Wednesday, December 19.

"Please have your gifts to us or where you got your star(s) by December 14th," Crosby added. "We begin our Holiday Star giving December 17th, 18th & 19th."

The Holiday Star Program, which has been a beacon of hope for the less fortunate during the holiday season for over 30 years, offered joy to over 1,000 children, adults and seniors through gifts, clothing and food last year alone. Those interested in being a Holiday Star recipient may still sign up, however they must be registered within the HOH food pantry.

Tote Taxi, a Hamptons-based luxury luggage courier service whose holiday slogan is to 'Let Us be Your Sleigh', is lending a helping hand this year by serving as the program's delivery service, making weekly gift pickups throughout the Village.

"Look out for stars on trees in local churches and banks," Crosby advised. "Tote Taxi is generously helping Heart of the Hamptons with gift pick-ups!"

"I'm really excited to be a part of the program. I've been looking something local to be a part of in the community so it made sense that Heart of the Hamptons be my first stop," Danielle Candela, Tote Taxi Founder & CEO, added. "Hilton told me about the Star Program and I knew right away it was something I wanted to be a part of. It's really important to give back especially to a community who has been so supportive of me."

For those not in the Hamptons the weekend of the Polar Bear Plunge, make sure to catch the always amusing action live on the Hamptons.com Coopers Beach Camera.

Heart of the Hamptons is located at 168 Hill Street in Southampton. For more information, visit heartofthehamptons.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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