At the Heart of the Hamptons Polar Plunge last Saturday, a married couple made a splash without setting foot in the ocean.
The Southampton plunge brought in hundreds of Long Islanders who braved the freezing temperature and falling snow at Coopers Beach to support their local food pantry. Heart of the Hamptons also offers services such as crisis intervention and medical assistance funding.
Saturday marked the organization’s 14th polar plunge, and Southampton resident Jimmy Mack has been there for all of them. To show his support for the cause, he sports the same stylish look each time: a mermaid costume complete with a baby blue bikini top that includes two beaded seashells, and a glamorous “tail” covered in sequin scales to match.
Mack and his husband of five years, Brian Mott, consider the plunge a tradition.
“It’s an opportunity to dress up in my favorite outfit and wear my favorite shoes,” Mack smiled, showing off a pair of pumps with plastic goldfish inside the heels.
Mott was in costume as well, dressed in a bright pink blazer and massive unicorn mask, undoubtedly helping keep him warm in the 30-degree air.
The couple dress up for this occasion every year. While Mack sticks to his aquatic attire, Mott likes to change it up.
“One year I shaved my chest into a Christmas tree,” Mott offered from under his unicorn head.
Mack jumped in, “Yes, he did, he had a hairy chest and he dyed the hair green… And one year he went as Batman.”
“I always try to take my shirt off,” Mott added, “But this year I was like, no.”
The couple decided not to test the waters this year, although they have taken the plunge in the snow before. Mott, 52, is a teacher in Manhattan and said he didn’t want to “tempt the fates" of getting sick.
As for Mack?
“I’m 60 this year, that’s it,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve done it every other year, now I’m too old!”
So instead, the couple got to the beach early and posed for photos with everyone who asked. They were bombarded all morning with compliments and smiles.
“There’s a celebrity factor going on,” said Mott. “Especially for [Mack], because they’ve come to expect him.”
“I’ve been doing this all 14 years,” Mack said, proudly.
“The last few years, I’ve been a nice little add-on,” Mott added while laughing.
Mack said that he and Mott raised $1,100 for Heart of the Hamptons.
After the plunge, they were excited to head home and sit in front of their fireplace, but not before chatting with Long Islanders and posing for a few more photos.
“I know people are here for a good time and I hope they know what they’re supporting,” said Mott. “What Heart of the Hamptons does is so important.”