Move over Ice Bucket Challenge, there are polar bears in Swampscott. On the first day of 2017 the NETA team turned out to support some great causes at the 11th annual Swampscott Polar Plunge.

With the Boston skyline on the mid-morning horizon, over 100 participants threw their swimsuits on and headed to Fisherman’s Beach in Swampscott. Huddled around the fire against the encroaching high tide participants waited alongside one another as the event announcer’s voice rolled across the cold sand. The brave swimmers then stampeded past the shoreline and dove head first into the frigid ocean waters.

The NETA-sponsored icy plunge benefitted the Russell J. Hopkins Children’s Fund as well as the Swampscott School’s Swift and Harbor programs. The former benefits the young children of a local Gulf War veteran, Russell “Rusty” Hopkins, the latter work one on one with families to help students who battle with depression, anxiety, and the effects of concussion.

Bracing against the piercing winds this past Sunday, Ross Riley, a NETA Brookline PSA dried off with hot coffee in hand and had this to say, “I can absolutely see this becoming a NETA tradition, but I’ll certainly have to think about it for the next 363 days though– that was freezing.”

To view photos from this event, browse our gallery – click here!