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Polar Bear Plunge 2021 canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

December 1, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
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The 117th annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Polar Bear Club was founded in 1903. Its members swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island every Sunday from November through April. Last New Year’s Day, more than 3,000 people jumped in the freezing water and raised more than $85,000 to help Coney Island businesses, events and organizations.

The club announced Monday that it has partnered with the Alliance for Coney Island to open a fundraising platform.

“While we are deeply disappointed that our great New Year’s tradition will not be taking place in 2021, we know this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of our members, thousands of attendees, and tens of thousands of spectators who show up for this event every Jan. 1,” said Dennis Thomas, president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. “We will be back bigger and stronger in 2022. Until then, we urge all our former and future participants to help us continue to support non-profits in the Coney Island community.”

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According to the Alliance of Coney Island, the donations will go to Coney Island nonprofits like the New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA, Coney Island History Project, Coney Island YMCA and the Alliance.

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