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Polar Bear Plunge Lands at Atlantic

The New Year's Day 2013 plunge will take place at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett due to problems caused by Sandy.

Organizers of the annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge have settled on holding it at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett next month.

The plunge had to be relocated after Superstorm Sandy caused some destruction to Main Beach in East Hampton Village. The plunge, which raises money for local food pantries, had been held there for the past two years.

The storm surge caused beach erosion and some structural damage to the Main Beach pavilion. "Although the damage to the actual pavilion is minor, the access to it is severely damaged," said Ed McDonald, the beach manager told East Hampton Patch last month.

After village officials decided it would be best for the 2013 plunge to move elsewhere, organizers got together at the East Hampton Food Pantry last week and decided on Atlantic Avenue Beach, John Ryan Sr. said in an email.

Kathy Byrnes, the chairwoman of the East Hampton Food Pantry, does not believe the change in location will impact the turnout. About 420 people took the plunge into the cold ocean waters on New Year's Day 2012. The plunge raises an average of $10,000 each year.

This year, participants are being asked to raise pledge money, instead of a $25 admission fee. There are also some challenges happening within the schools to garner even more participation.

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