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Polar Plunge Set as Camp Benefit

March 2 dip to raise funds at Crab Meadow Beach.

The Long Island Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine is set for March 2 at Crab Meadow Beach in Northport.

Participants are invited to plunge into the frigid waters of Long Island Sound to raise money to help send more New York families to Camp Sunshine, a  national retreat in Casco, Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Every polar dip participant is encouraged to raise a at least $100 in pledges.

CrowdRise makes it easier for the entire community to support Camp Sunshine. To start raising funds, form or join a team, and donate online, visit http://www.crowdrise.com/LongIslandPolarDip. For more information, call (207) 655-3800.

Organizers have set a goal to raise $20,000 – enough to send 10 New York families to Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org). Plungers are encouraged to create a plunge team of four or more people, consisting of co-workers and classmates and from civic groups or places of worship.

Each participant who raises at least $100 in pledges for Camp Sunshine will receive a coveted “I DID IT!” t-shirt. Crab Meadow Beach is located at the end of Waterside Avenue in Huntington Township on Long Island’s North Shore. The area features a boardwalk, playground and restaurant. Registration will get underway at noon with the dip set for 2 p.m.

“We’re so excited and gratified that Huntington Township has allowed us to relocate our plunge this year from storm-damaged Amityville,” said Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine’s Director of Special Events. “This polar dip on Long Island will raise funds for Camp Sunshine and help more families from that area take advantage of our services.”

He added, “The reality of this event is that the discomfort our plungers feel for just a moment will never compare to what our families go through during the course of their child’s illness. It’s for the families and children that we plunge – we call it Freezin’ for a Reason.”

Those unable or not willing to submerge in near-freezing water can still participate in the Chicken Dip. Chicken dippers are still required to raise the minimum of $100 to participate, but only need to get their feet wet – a perfect opportunity for some of Camp Sunshine’s children to take part, Smith said.

Since the opening of the Camp’s year-round campus in 2001, more ill children and their families have come from New York than any other state in the nation. In 2012, 152 families from New York, many from Long Island, attended the Camp.  Even with multiple sessions being added annually at Camp Sunshine, there are still many more children from New York being newly diagnosed each year, Smith said.

Camp Sunshine’s program continues to be recommended by the following New York treatment centers: Mount Sinai Medical Center, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Schneider's Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York University Medical Center, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Westchester Medical Center,  Stony Brook Medical Center, and numerous others.

About Camp Sunshine

Camp Sunshine offers children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a place to relax together for a week, and to take a break from the extraordinary demands placed upon them on a daily basis.

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