Costumes at Long Island polar bear plunges are a longtime staple, but the bar may have been raised on March 10 during the Town of Oyster Bay Polar Plunge at Tobay Beach, benefiting Special Olympics New York.
Among those in attendance: a Tyrannosaurus rex, Maleficent, a mermaid, a pirate, a Viking and a couple of polar bears.
“By the second year [participating], I knew I wanted to do something fun and dress up,” said Jennifer Angevine of the Long Island Pool and Spa Association, who is in her fourth year participating with the group.
This year, Angevine donned a two-piece, shimmery metallic blue mermaid outfit with a red wig and a shell necklace.
“I just thought it went with the beach theme,” she said.
LIPSA was among the top fundraisers for the event, raising about $7,500. More than $70,000 was raised from this event with about 400 brave people going into the water, according to Jennifer Cantone, director of development for Special Olympics New York.
“It’s cold,” Angevine said, shivering. “But it’s warm because we’re helping people and because of all the fun and excitement. It’s for the kids.”
Participant Steve Anderson dressed up as Captain America for the event to support his friend, 11-year-old Ava Gonzalez.
“The A is for Ava,” he said, pointing to his helmet.
Gonzalez, part of team “Flava Flav,” raised more than $10,000. This is her second year participating in the polar plunge, but she didn’t go in the water because it was too cold.
Maybe next year?
“I’ll think about it,” she said.