The Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc. (CP Nassau) hosted the 12th Annual Polar Bear Plunge benefit fundraiser on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Beach & Marina in Oyster Bay. It was a beautiful day with temperatures feeling like Spring!  The festivities got underway at 1 p.m. and kicked off with our terrific D.J., Danny Kelly on the beautiful Town of Oyster Bay Show Mobile stage! The plunge took place at 2 p.m. with hundreds of swimmers jumping into the brisk waters!

CP Nassau is extremely grateful to Honorary Co-Chairs, Supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay, John Venditto and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg.  The Co-Chairmen Frank Ozol and Jack Sullivan worked hard along with the dedicated committee and put together a fantastic event!  Thank you to everyone for coming out and showing your support at the Plunge!  We had lots of big family teams and school and college teams and lots of brave, caring individuals who took the Plunge to raise funds and awareness for a great organization, CP Nassau!  We are very grateful to all the Town of Oyster Bay workers for their efforts and to all our volunteers for their help in making the day run so smoothly!  Also, we could not have done it without the great assistance from the Nassau County Junior Explorers from the Police Department and the Oyster Bay Constable department!

We also would like to thank Long Island Speech for partnering with us once again as a sponsor of our Plunge!

Star Wars at the Plunge!  This year, some very special guests joined us! Darth Vader and Obi One Kenobi and 2 other characters were on the beach!   The 501st Legion is an all-volunteer worldwide organization formed to bring costume enthusiasts together to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work. According to leader, Chris Feehan, “We are known for representing bad guy characters like Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers, Bounty Hunters, and Sith Lords, in the most accurate way possible. We are officially recognized by Lucas Film as their preferred costuming group.”  The Empire City Garrison is the local New York chapter of the 501st Legion.  Plungers and their friends loved posing for photos with the Star Wars crew!

Hundreds came to ‘chill-out’ and help raise funds for CP Nassau! The day was filled with fun and all enjoyed the free hot chocolate, and coffee, tea and munchkins donated by Dunkin’ Donuts!  Sparky and some of the Islanders girls greeted fans on took pictures!

We are so grateful to the Atlantic Steamer Fire Company who were on hand to cook and serve tons of free hot dogs and provide EMS coverage for the safety of our plungers!  Our first-ever soup tasting contest was a great addition to the day and we are “soup-er” grateful to three terrific establishments from Oyster Bay who participated: The Coach Grill and Tavern served up delicious Steak and Black Bean soup, Jack Halyard’s made a terrific Lobster Bisque and Sweet Tomato’s Turkey Chili was YUM!

There were lots of great raffles thanks to the generosity of many of the members of the Oyster Bay East Norwich Chamber of Commerce!   Much gratitude to Alex Gallego, President of the Chamber of Commerce for all his help, generosity and enthusiasm!  Chilly, our dancing Polar Bear was meeting and greeting everyone and posing for lots of pictures with his fans!

After the Plunge, Coach Grill hosted an “After Party” for those who braved the cold water!

All proceeds will benefit the more than 1,800 children and adults with disabilities who participate in programs and receive services through Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc.    CP Nassau has been assisting individuals with disabilities since 1948.

Thank you again one and all for your support of the 12th annual Polar Bear Plunge to benefit CP Nassau!  Lots of photos on the CP Nassau Polar Bear Plunge page on Facebook!

Fundraise online at http://cpnassau2016PolarBearPlunge.kintera.org

For information about participation as a swimmer or a sponsor in 2017, please contact Charles Evdos, Development Director, CP Nassau at (516) 378-2000 ext. 648. You can also visit www.cpnassau.org for more information and registration forms.