Thousands brave cold waters in Seaside Heights for annual polar plunge for Special Olympics

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Thousands of swimmers in Seaside Heights took brave dips into the chilly Atlantic Ocean for the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday.

It was not exactly summer beach weather with water temperatures in the lower 40s, but that did not stop 8,000 participants wearing everything from nothing to full onesies from taking part in the 27th annual event.

The cause raised over $2 million for Special Olympics. The organization offers 24 different sports to nearly 27,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Kelli Tobin said Special Olympics New Jersey is an important part of her son Colin's life.

"It was really important for us because at the time, he wasn't able to walk and participate in the way other athletes were, but through the young athlete program he was able to build skills that allow him to become an athlete today that he participates in basketball and track," Tobin said.

The plunge also brought nearly 100,000 people to the area, transforming the Seaside Boardwalk into summertime atmosphere.

The event that started with only 72 swimmers 27 years ago was presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run and was sponsored by the New Jersey State PBA, Wawa and News 12 New Jersey.

 

 

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