Several hundred people ran into the frigid ocean waters at Coney Island in Brooklyn on Monday (January 1st) in the annual New Year's Day Polar Plunge, continuing a tradition that began in 1903 despite yesterday's bone-chilling temperatures. However, Dennis Thomas, the president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, said that participation was down this year because of the cold. The air temperature was just 17 degrees, while the water was only 20 degrees warmer, at 37 degrees. The Polar Plunge raises money for charities, including the Alliance for Coney Island and The New York Aquarium, and organizers raised $80,000 last year.
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