NEWPORT -- It's become somewhat of a rite of passage...or maybe just a zany way to ring in the new year.
No matter which way you look at it, the Newport Polar Bear Plunge returns this weekend to Easton's Beach for its 33rd year, and will once again help raise proceeds for a very worthy cause.
As the Polar Bears describe on their website, Colin Davis is an 11 year old 5th grader in Gaudet Middle School in Middletown who loves sports, playing with his friends, and spending time with his family. Davis was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Sarcoma Tumor in late August.
The swimmers who take the plunge at noon this Sunday will help raise money for Davis and his family, through the Tiverton-based A Wish Come True.
Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts’ oldest wish-granting organization, A Wish Come True is dedicated to granting wishes to medically-qualified children ages 3 through 18 who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Last year's event drew a record-breaking 5,000 onlookers and roughly 1,000 "polar bears" who welcomed the new year by taking the plunge into a frosty Atlantic.
The dive is scheduled to go off at noon on Sunday. Afterwards, head over to the Atlantic Beach Club for some (warm) food and drinks.
And if you happen to take a liking to winter swimming, then you might want to think about joining the Newport Polar Bears, who have been plunging into the frigid waters every Sunday at noon since the early 1920s.
For more on the group, head over to their website at www.newportpolarbears.bravehost.com