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Dozens take plunge into Great South Bay

Dozens braved Sunday’s near 40-degree temperatures and took

Dozens braved Sunday’s near 40-degree temperatures and took the plunge into the frigid Great South Bay during Amityville’s Polar Bear Plunge. (Feb. 13, 2011) Photo Credit: Kevin Traynor

Some donned bikinis. Some went shirtless with shorts. And others just rolled up their jeans.

Dozens braved Sunday’s near 40-degree temperatures and took the plunge into the frigid Great South Bay during Amityville’s Polar Bear Plunge.

"You wouldn’t catch me running into the bay today," said spectator Garth Grillo of North Babylon.

After the National Anthem ended, a moment of hesitation came over the scantily clad swimmers at Amityville’s James A. Caples Memorial Park Beach. Then they darted down a runway lined with onlookers. Everyone quickly ran in the water and raced out even faster.

The event was a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine, a Maine-based retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

"It’s a great time and we’re happy to be back in Amityville," said Ashley Riley, Camp Sunshine’s events coordinator. "A lot of our families from Camp Sunshine are from Long Island."

She said nearly 200 families from New York made the trek to Maine in 2010.

"We’re unique because we’re one of the few camps that involve the families, and not just the kids," Riley said. Riley estimated that they had 150 families participating in Sunday’s plunge.

Camp Sunshine partnered with the Lupus Alliance for the plunge, and KJOY 98.3 chipped in to help sponsor a party at the nearby Ollie's Point Bar and Grill after the group plunge. Bar and Grill.

Pictured: Dozens brave near 40-degree temperatures and run into the frigid Great South Bay during Amityville’s Polar Bear Plunge. (Feb. 13, 2011)

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