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Dive If You Dare: The Annual Polar Bear Plunge Hits The Hamptons With A Frosty Awakening

Originally Posted: December 06, 2010

Brittany Buckley

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Mary Ann Tupper and Gary Glanz celebrate at the Polar Bear Plunge pre-party. (Brittany Buckley)

Southampton - What is icy cold, has two legs and transforms into a polar bear every December? Well, that's a polar bear plunger, of course. The Seventh Annual Polar Bear Plunge for Hunger braved the chilling water at Cooper's Beach in Southampton on December 11, however, a send off party was held at the Southampton Publick House on December 2.

Dave Steiber and President of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, Bob Schepps.

Every year the event of the season attracts hundreds of supporters, decked from head to toe in nothing but swimsuits and entertaining costumes that will have you turning your head for a double take. The on-going support that remains strong after seven years of success, comes in response to raising money for a local charity, Human Resources of the Hamptons (HRH).

Executive Director of HRH, Mary Ann Tupper, was looking forward to the thrilling event that has become the landmark of winter celebrations in the Hamptons, especially since December is the time of year to give. "This is the greatest event in Southampton in the winter. It is the winter event of the Hamptons," exclaimed Tupper. "Everybody comes out, it's a big party atmosphere, you have a wonderful time and you raise money to help the people in the community; how great is that?"

"Over the past seven years the plunge has raised nearly $600,000 and the support keeps on giving. For those unable to take part in the plunge, HRH held a Polar Bear Plunge pre-party at the Publick House in Southampton. The party was filled with plungers, members of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce and HRH, and flotation devices! Guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres as they mingled and danced to the upbeat tunes of DJ Dory Seymore, who made sure to sport a bright orange floaty for the celebration.

Board members of HRH, Cynthia D'Andrea and Jane Finalborgo.

"There are some people who just can't make the plunge and we decided that we would fire-up some people to get them going and will raise more money," remarked Tupper. "It's important to give back to our local Food Pantry, the reusable clothing room, medical transportation, children's programs and senior's programs as well. We're very excited about the event."

Besides the loud canon that kicks off the event with a blast, Mayor Mark Epley's anticipated annual plunge, a Survivor's after party, (offering food on behalf of local merchants) and tons of hot chocolate to keep plungers toasty, you can ultimately expect to have an incredible time that you surely won't forget anytime soon. In addition to the fun-filled lineup of activities, HRH will warm the hearts of hungry families this year, with 95 percent of the proceeds going directly to the local Food Pantry. The Polar Bear Plunge is a great way for the whole family to embark on a winter adventure and raise funds for charity at the same time.

The winning logo designed by Sean McDonald and Grace Conklin. (hrhamptons.org)

Event organizer, Gary Glanz, is gearing up for an icy dip in support of the cause that continues to give back to those who are less fortunate. "Our goal is to get people to attend the pre-party who can't go to the plunge; you don't have to go into the water, you can come here, drink beer and still help out," remarked Glanz. "Hopefully this will grow as the plunge has grown and we can have an auxiliary event."

This year's plunge will be filled with exciting surprises, including a new contest that Glanz hopes will help raise more funds for the local charity organization. If plungers raise over $100 their name will be entered into a drawing that offers the chance to win a trip to see real polar bears up close in Churchill, Manitoba. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize for two, including a week-long trip to Canada, to see the animals in their natural habitat.

To take part in the Polar Bear Plunge this year, supporters must give or receive a minimum of $25. Collecting money from sponsors will give participants a free registration. Without donations, the registration fee at the event is $25. The plunge starts at 10 a.m. and guests are suggested to arrive at 9:30 a.m. to register in the Pavilion at Cooper's Beach.

For more information go to www.hrhamptons.org

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lisaspets says::
I posted shots of the plunge on my facebook! -Lisa Hartman
Dec 12, 2010 1:39 pm


NicoleBBrewer from Southampton says::
This is one of the most fun (and crazy) events you'll ever be a part of either as a polar bear or as a part of the cheering crowd. Best of all is the reason, to help the community! Cheers to Mary Ann Tupper and her team - best wishes for a warm(ish) Saturday :)
Dec 7, 2010 10:21 am


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