2016 Polar Bear Plunge from Wildwood, NJ

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At the start of each new year, people across the country head to various bodies of frigid water to take a dip and raise money for charity in Polar Plunges.  One of the funnest places you can Polar Plunge on the East Coast is Wildwood, NJ.  The day is also one of the greatest fundraisers of the year for Special Olympics of NJ.  (Together with similar plunges in Asbury Park and Seaside Heights, one million dollars is raised for Special Olympics on NJ.)  In addition to a top-notch fundraiser, the Wildwood Polar Plunge is also a great tailgate party.  Over 1,000 people plunge while thousands more come to watch.  Great Photos of the 2016 Polar Plunge from Wildwood are in the Photo Gallery below.

This year the temperatures in the low 50s seemed balmy by comparison.   But the ocean water temps in the 40s and gusting winds still made this event a challenge, just like always.   At 1:00pm over 1,000 costumed plungers took to the seas….   And by about 1:05pm… it’s all over!  But not before almost $400,000 was raised for Special Olympics on New Jersey.

The Polar Bear Plunge in Wildwood is one of the many fundraising events hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey, the largest grass-roots fundraising organization for Special Olympics NJ.  All proceeds from Law Enforcement Torch Run events help to provide sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Polar Bear Plunge in Wildwood is sponsored by the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police and The Wildwoods Convention Center.


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The Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ) supports 24,000 athletes who train and compete in 24 Olympic-type sports throughout the year. The plunge is one of the many fundraising events that benefit these athletes, allowing them to train, compete and participate in our many programs completely free of charge.  In 2014 SONJ hosted the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games that welcomed 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and tens of thousands of spectators.

Please visit the Wildwood, NJ Tourism site for more great events at the Convention Center and Special Olympics of NJ for other events and fundraisers.


By: Tony Romeo / PHL17
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