The annual Polar Plunge in Seaside Heights, benefitting Special Olympics New Jersey, was one of the most successful events ever, drawing 25,000 onlookers, out of which more than 6,000 plunged, raising $1.6 million in the process, on the way to $1.7 million at the last minute.

“It’s cold,” one plunger summed it up – the water, that is. The air temperature hovered from the high 50s to low 60s depending on which way the wind was blowing, and participants suited up in bathing suits and costumes alike. From mermaids, to celebrities, to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the costumed masses dove in, trying to make it to a sandbar off the Seaside Heights beachfront.

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