On New Year’s day, a hardy group of more than a dozen men, women and young people dove into the icy waters of Nantucket Sound off State Beach in Oak Bluffs. It was not an example of mass insanity but was the fourth annual Woodland Polar Plunge, and it was all for a good cause.
The event, organized by Rob Baker, owner of the Woodland Grill in Vineyard Haven, raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Family and friends sponsor each participant. Last year, the group raised just under $400 and this year the Plunge raised more than $800 for the charity that helps returning soldiers recover from their wounds.
Most of those who ran down the beach sprinted into the surf and sped right back out into the warm embrace of towels. Only a few participants stayed in the water for longer than 20 seconds.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that this year’s plunge raised almost $500. In fact, the swim raised more than $800.