Polar Bear Plunge Raises Money for Special Olympics - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Polar Bear Plunge Raises Money for Special Olympics



    Brian Mahoney participated in the Polar Bear Plunge with a Go-Pro camera documenting the experience. (Published Monday, Feb. 24, 2014)

    Rowan University freshman Brian Mahoney, 19, is a Polar Bear Plunge pro. He's been partaking in the chilly Jersey Shore tradition for the past 8 years.

    Mahoney and his cohort of friends braved the cold water on Saturday. This year, Mahoney filmed the experience with his Go-Pro camera face-first. With the wind rattling and carrying a flag, Mahoney takes to the cold ocean with his friends. 

    "Let's go!" said Mahoney. "It's a beautiful day at the beach."

    At the 21st annual Polar Bear Plunge, nearly $1.5 million was raised to benefit the Special Olympics New Jersey and its 24,00 Special Olympics athletes. The plunge into the Atlantic Ocean took place Saturday at 1 p.m. near Spicy's Cantina on the boardwalk. The temperature was about 54 degrees.

    "It was actually really cold. As soon as we hit the water, your body goes into shock. You can't feel anything," said Mahoney.

    Last year, the plunge was relocated to Long Branch due to damage on the Seaside Heights boarwalk caused by Superstorm Sandy.

    About 5400 plungers, event organizers from the law enforcement community, sponsors, volunteers and the community of Seaside Heights truly helped change the lives of some very deserving athletes through their support of this year's event, according to event organizers.

    "On behalf of Special Olympics New Jersey, I'd like to say thank you to all who made the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights the most successful in our history," said Special Olympics New Jersey President Marc Edenzon.

    Mahoney and his team were proud to have contributed $1,000 to the cause. After three dips in the ocean he said, "I'm done. I'm done."

    Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.