BRIGANTINE, N.J. — Like that branch of the federal government that allows neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night nor deluge of holidays packages to stand in its way, a proud community tradition, the Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge, will continue in the face of adversity on New Year’s Day.
Brigantine residents and businesses will take time out from Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts to celebrate New Year’s Day with the 13th annual plunge at a new location. Unchanged, however, is the fact that all proceeds will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, which provides transportation and housing to the families of wounded military members (see fisherhouse.org).
Last year’s Brigantine Plunge saw over 9,000 spectators witness more than 1,000 swimmers take the chilly plunge into the Atlantic, and raised over $47,000 for Fisher House. The 2013 goal is $60,000, which it intends to achieve through sponsorship (major sponsors include National Van Lines, Laguna Grill and Rum Bar, and local veterans and civic organizations), after-party and apparel sales like T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies (featuring an artist’s image of Hurricane Sandy, pictured right, and available at Brigantine Ace Hardware Friday to Sunday, Dec. 28-30, or by calling 267-347-0179). The plunge itself is free and open to the public.
The festivities start 11am with the plunge starting noon at the 14th Street South beach in Brigantine. The after-party immediately follows at Laguna Grill and Rum Bar at nearby 14th Street South and Ocean Avenue. Laguna will feature special food and drink prices for the event. Free parking shuttles will take revelers between the event site and remote lots at 26th, 34th and 42nd streets, and other civic and church lots from 11am-3pm. Phillip's Seafood will provide complimentary soup, and military color guards will be in attendance.
Atlantic City’s singing lifeguard Jim Craine (pictured far left, with event organizer John Hand) again returns as the Master of Ceremonies, and live music will be provided by the Mott’s Creek Pickers. There will also be a costume contest with prizes for the best costumes. For more information, e-mail Bob Lund at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 892-7339.
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