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For Immediate Release
November 25, 2009

Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine
(207) 655-3800

Web Site:

Fourth Annual Coney Island Polar Dip to Benefit Camp Sunshine Set for New Year’s Day at Coney Island

Freezin’ for a Reason event to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening diseases and their families

CONEY ISLAND, New York (November 25, 2009) – The Coney Island Polar Bear Club’s fourth annual Coney Island Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine is set for 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day at Riegelmann Boardwalk on Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Participants will plunge into the chilly waters off Coney Island Beach to raise money to help send more families from New York to Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind national retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the oldest winter bathing organization in the U.S. Every participant is encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges for Camp Sunshine. All proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine. To pledge online and for more information on the event, visit

Last year, the world-renowned Coney Island Polar Dip raised $25,000 for Camp Sunshine. The goal for the Jan. 1, 2010 event is to raise more than $30,000 – enough to send more than 20 New York families to Camp Sunshine.

“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,” said Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine’s Director of Special Events. “It’s for the families and children that we plunge... we call it Freezin for a Reason.“
Proceeds from the Coney Island Polar Bear to benefit Camp Sunshine Participants are asked to arrive early for the 1 p.m. event and to assemble on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Plungers are encouraged to bring warm clothes, surf boots or old sneakers, and towels. The NYC Parks Department is providing changing facilities.

Participants who make a donation to Camp Sunshine will receive a free breakfast and all-day admission to the New York Aquarium. For more information, visit the Coney Island Polar Bear Club online at

Nestled alongside the shores of beautiful Sebago Lake in Casco, Maine, 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 on them on a daily basis.

The year-round program is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by volunteers. It is the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family.

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 2009, 153 families from New York attended the Camp. Sadly, 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.

To support Camp Sunshine, please call (207) 655-3800 or visit

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