Calling All Polar Bears

Cold-water plunges to raise money for food pantries
Morgan McGivern

     Two "polar bear" plunges into the icy Atlantic will be held on Jan. 1 in East Hampton, after the cancellation of one at Gurney's Inn in Montauk, due to beach conditions there after the weekend's powerful northeaster.

     While the chance for a frigid hat-trick or trifecta of pain has been eliminated, the remaining dips, at East Hampton’s Main Beach at 1, and at Beach Lane, Wainscott, at 2:30, give the most intrepid of that day’s brave souls a chance to do repeat the feat.

The Main Beach plunge, put on by the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter Hurricanes youth swim team, is to benefit East Hampton’s food pantries. Participants have been asked to donate at least $25.

Colin Mather, whose Wainscott plunge apparently was the first such here, has asked that participants there donate at least $10 to Phoenix House.

In a flier he sent out this week, Mather, who owns the Seafood Shop on Route 27 in Wainscott, said that he will set off on a 1.6-mile run to the Beach Lane road-end from his shop at 2 p.m.

“If you want to join Colin for the jog, knock on the front door — the shop will be closed. Only polar bears can enter,” it said.