WESTPORT, Conn. — Kick off the New Year off with a splash— literally— and help make a difference in the lives of impoverished children around the world during the 11th annual Polar Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach.
For the event, dozens of brave bathing-suit clad participants go for dip in the chilly waters of Long Island Sound, all to raise money for Save the Children, an international nonprofit based in Westport.
"It’s like diving into very cold champagne," said Robin Myers of the Team Mossman Triathlon Club, which organizes the plunge. "It’s the most exhilarating start to the New Year. The momentary discomfort you feel is nothing compared to what a lot of people feel the whole year round."
Here’s how the events works: When registering, participants will be asked to choose their donation level. Participants can chose to donate $35, $50 or $125. There is also an opportunity for participants to raise more money by getting friends and family to sponsor them.
All proceeds from the icy swim will support Save the Children programs, which benefit needy children and families in 120 countries, including the U.S.
Last year's plunge raised $2,315, Myers said. This year's goal is to raised at least $5,000, he said.
The plunge will begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 1, but participants are asked to arrive by 9:30 a.m. Afterward, participants can warm up with a 3-mile run. Event sponsor Bertucci's Italian Restaurant will also be on hand at the beach serving hot soup and warm rolls.
The Polar Plunge is open to any interested area residents. To register, visit the Team Mossman website. Registration for the event will close at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 30.