SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ  – On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary!

Saturday’s Plunge is expected to raise more than $1.8 million, and will take place on the beach between Blaine Avenue and Sumner Avenue, directly in front of Spicy’s Cantina (500 Boardwalk). Street closures in the area will be in effect until early afternoon.

At 1:00 p.m., all those who have donated or raised a minimum of $100 will make their way into the Atlantic, where the water temperature is expected to be in the low 40s and the air temperature is forecasted to be a high of 52°F.

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Many of the event participants have gone above and beyond the $100 minimum, and as of Thursday morning, February 22nd, the highest individual fundraiser is Scott Paterson, who has raised $31,790. 

The highest fundraising team is the Little Silver Crocs, led by Mike Laverty, who have raised more than $87,000. Assuming the team continues their fundraising efforts at this pace, this will be the 15th year in a row that the Little Silver Crocs will earn the highest team fundraiser title.

The Seaside Plunge is organized by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey, the largest grass-roots fundraising organization for Special Olympics New Jersey. Other notable supporters include the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Wawa, NJ 101.5 and News 12 New Jersey.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run hosts many fundraising events for Special Olympics New Jersey throughout the year, including two other Polar Bear Plunges, the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5k, a Plane Pull, Great Coaster Race, and multiple golf outings, all of which helped to raise more than $3.9 million in the last year.

Walk-up Plunge registrants are welcome and encouraged to arrive early due to the heavy traffic(the walk-up registration fee is $125 and the registration tents will open at 9:00 a.m.) Spectators are also welcome. Street and garage parking will be available in the area.

If you cannot be there, but want to see the festivities,  watch with EarthCam’s live webcams, thanks to the Borough of Seaside Heights!

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