Photo Flash: Thousands Participate in NY's POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

What would become the Long Beach Polar Bears started innocently enough on Super Bowl Sunday in 1998. Two guys - Kevin McCarthy and Pete Meyers - decided it would be fun to jump into the Atlantic Ocean for a quick dip before the game. Stories flew around town about how much Kevin and Pete enjoyed their swim. (At least that's what they said!) Mike Bradley asked Kevin and Pete if they would like company on Super Bowl Sunday in 1999. They readily agreed, and Mike brought along his brother P.J. Bradley to join in the swim.

Check out some pics from previous years along with this year's Plunge!

Temperature was around 40 degrees and sunny. Long Beach had been devastated by hurricane Sandy, so last year, it was questionable if they would do this event. (there was no boardwalk at that time. Trains were crowded, but people came from near and far to participate!

Kevin and Pete generously and enthusiastically agreed that it was a wonderful idea to turn their swim into a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation ® of Metro New York. So, on Super Bowl Sunday 2000 the Long Beach Polar Bear Club jumped into the freezing ocean with warm hearts, startled shouts and determination.

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