Brad Geoghan dove into the Great South Bay at Corey Beach on Sunday morning and walked out seconds later covered in goose bumps.
The 27-year-old Blue Point resident quickly grabbed a towel to warm up.
Geoghan was one of 107 people who participated in the Blue Point Bayport Lions Club’s first Polar Plunge to benefit the Guide Dog Foundation. Swimmers of all ages donated $10 to $15 in order to briefly jump into the ocean on a 45-degree morning.
“Having a guide dog could make a world of difference in someone else’s life so for us to jump into the cold water for a couple of minutes is the least we can do,” Geoghan said.
It costs $66,000 to train a guide dog and every year the Lions Club, a charity organization that focuses on foundations for the visually impaired, donates $6,500 to help sponsor a dog for the blind.
“The Lions Club is wonderful for all they do for the Guide Dog foundation,” said Judi Wines, 66, a Guide Dog ambassador as she bent down to pet Mazel, a 5-year-old Golden Retriever. “I think this event is great for community spirit but I’m a senior citizen so you won’t be seeing me in the water.”
Students from the LEO Club, a branch of the Lions Club with volunteers from Bayport-Blue Point High School, also helped plan the Polar Plunge.
“We’re such a small town and it’s awesome to see everyone willing to help out,” said Molly Grube, 17, a LEO Club volunteer.
At 11 a.m., participants in swimsuits plunged into the ocean together laughing and screaming.
“I wanted to do this to help charity with my family,” said Chris Quartuccio, 9, of Sayville, through shivers.
Even after the plunge, members of the community stayed on the beach to talk and play volleyball.
Jim Mendelson, 69, president of the Lions Club, said the event raised about $1,000.
“Every community has its own personality,” Mendelson said. “This is a community that generation after generation has helped each other out if there’s ever a need.”