North Fork Polar Bear plunge raises more than $50,000 for CAST

Hundreds of brave souls plunged into the Long Island Sound on Sunday all to help their neighbors in need.

The North Fork Polar Bears, a cold-water swimming group with more than 80 members, hosted its first-ever Splash for CAST at Truman’s Beach in East Marion.

In swimsuits and knitted hats, approximately 216 people participated in the inaugural plunge, which raised more than $50,000 for CAST. The organization, formally known as the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation in Southold, a nonprofit that helps provide basic needs to low-income residents across the North Fork and Shelter Island.


Fortunately for the swimmers, a mild late-January day was in store as the air temperature hovered around 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a water temperature of 42.

After taking the dip, participants gathered along the shore to warm up with towels, robes and hot cocoa around fire pits.

CAST executive director Cathy Demeroto said Monday that the event was a “tremendous” success. “We are grateful to the North Fork Polar Bears, all the brave plungers and everyone in the community who supported this exhilarating family event that will benefit our neighbors in need during these difficult winter months,” she said.