Seaside Polar Bear Plunge Is Ready For You

Photo by Bob Vosseller

  SEASIDE HEIGHTS – Are you ready to raise at least $100 for a good cause and jump into ice cold water on Feb. 22?

  This year’s 27th annual NJ Polar Bear Plunge will be a major benefit for the Special Olympics and is a shore area tradition.

  Last year thousands of plungers ran, jumped or waded their way into some chilly waves as a means to support the Special Olympics New Jersey. A minimum $100 is required to be raised per plunger and there are two options to choose from when registering online to become a plunger. Register online for $25 to get started and set up a customizable fundraising page. The $25 registration fee counts toward the $100 minimum, meaning only $75 more has to be raised to meet the minimum to participate.

  Once you are registered, share your fundraising page with family and friends via email and social media. Track donations right from your fundraising page, respond to donors and monitor fundraising progress as you get closer to the $100 minimum. Plungers don’t have to stop there because as you raise more money for Special Olympics New Jersey, they will also earn Polar Bear Plunge incentives.

  For over 50 years, Special Olympics New Jersey has provided year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities, and health screenings to more than 26,000 athletes. All of these programs and services are completely free of charge, thanks to fundraising events like the Polar Bear Plunge which for several years has been based in Seaside Heights.

Photo by Bob Vosseller

  First time plungers or those who have not taken the plunge in a while may wonder how long does check-in take? Organizers of the plunge have streamlined the check-in process but can never predict when crowds will be heaviest.

  According to the Polar Bear Plunge Seaside website, organizers “encourage you to arrive early to check-in on the day of the event and enjoy the Plunge atmosphere. All participants MUST check-in prior to Plunging to turn in funds, receive incentives and receive Plunger access materials to be allowed to the site. Bring all donations with you when you come to check-in. Cash, charge, and checks are accepted.”

  Bringing your QR code with you on the day of the Plunge will make check-in go faster.

Registering online will also cut time. Registrations are taken on the day of the event but it’s much faster if you’ve already performed the online registration process. When possible, contact the organizers prior to arriving at registration with questions about online donations or issues regarding registration. If questions arise that day, they will assist you.

  Unsure what to wear for this event? You can wear whatever you want to Plunge – bathing suit, street clothes, and even costumes. You can change before and after the Plunge at the separate heated changing tents for men and women. Law enforcement personnel will be at the entrance to monitor the area, but please note that neither the event committee nor Special Olympics New Jersey is responsible for personal belongings left inside the tent that are lost or stolen during the course of the event. Leave items at your own risk.

  Spectators are not allowed access to the changing areas. Should a Plunger need to be accompanied for a certain reason, they should explain that to law enforcement at the entrance of the tents to gain access.

  As to other items that should be brought to the Plunge, it is suggested that you bring a towel to dry off and warm up with, old shoes, aquatic shoes, etc. and forget to bring a pair of dry shoes to wear afterward.

  Other suggested items include a duffel bag, backpack, or garbage bag and it is a good idea to bring a bag for dry clothes and your Plunge incentives, as well as a plastic bag for your wet clothes plus dry replacement clothes for after you’re done as it’s nice to have some warm and dry clothes for the journey home.

  Another recommended item is, another Plunger! Recruit a friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance and get them to Plunge with you. It’s always more fun to Plunge with someone!

  Do not dive or flip into the water. This is a safety precaution for all Plungers that is strictly enforced by the Dive Team and don’t Plunge after drinking alcohol. Intoxicated people will not be permitted to Plunge.

  Leave valuables at home or with a spectator. Special Olympics New Jersey is not responsible for items that are lost or stolen.

  Plungers are advised not to run out of the water after they Plunge. Keep in mind that everything is wet and slippery. Carpooling is recommended as parking can be crowded. For further questions, visit or e-mail