CONEY ISLAND, NY – On a freezing 27-degree day in Brooklyn, NY, hundreds of people took the icy-cold water dip challenge at the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day.
Organizers say since 1903, Coney Island Polar Bear Club members have been dipping in the ocean during the winter, not only for its health benefits but to raise money for kids and zoo animals in need.
This Filipina says she is “freezin'” for a reason” and that reason is charity.
“My first time in Coney Island, my first time here so — this island girl is going to dip into the water for all our students in need in the tropics of Manila,” said Marilyn Abalos, the National Chair of the St. Paul Alumnae Association.
Abalos is dipping into the freezing waters for dollars so that some students in the Philippines would not be left in the cold without education.
“I started to pray the rosary,” said Abalos. “I said if I do one decade of the rosary out there then’ I’ll be good.”
“She’s very brave and she’s always ready to help a cause,” said Madeleine Abalos-Gallagher, Marilyn’s sister.
Abalos, a Fordham University and New York University graduate, works for the Dance Theater of Harlem.
Just like the ALS ice bucket challenge, Marilyn is now challenging her friends and members of the Philippine Alumni Association in New York to do the same.
“Dip in the water with me,” said Marilyn. “I’m dipping for dollars for St Paul and you should dip dollars for something – La Salle, Ateneo and all the other groups. So yeah, it’s a challenge now.”
For those who can’t wait till next year’s polar plunge the New York “No Pants Subway Ride” is happening all over Manhattan this Sunday. It’s another way to raise funds for your favorite charity and have fun while you’re at it.