By Kristen Johanson

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (CBS) — In Philadelphia, they’re marking the start of 2016 with the Mummer’s parade. Around the world it’s a time for resolutions and a fresh start on goals. And in Atlantic City — it’s a nice day for a swim, for charity.

It’s a tradition, jumping into the frigid Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day for the Polar Bear Plunge.

“Because it’s the year of change, and I’ve never jumped into the ocean on January 1st.”

“I’ve looked at people doing this and I’m like, they’re crazy, but one day, I figured you know what, why not do it.”

“Yolo. Start out with a bang.”

Zoe and Barb are Temple students who ran into the cold water for the first time this New Year’s — all to raise money for research in both breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The end result:

“I feel ready for the new year, it’s a great start.”

“At one point I didn’t know I was in my own body. It was so cold.”

If you missed your chance at a 51 degree swim this year — they highly recommend taking the Polar Bear Plunge next time!

“That was worth it and everyone should do it, you feel revived.”

In Ocean City, more than a thousand people participated in the second annual Hero Plunge.

Another New Year’s Day tradition took place on the banks of the Schuylkill River.

Hundreds of people turned out for the 8th annual Polar Bear Plunge in Pottstown, Mongtomery County.

Not everyone was daring enough to take the dive — but they offered plenty of support from the sidelines.




KYW’s Kristen Johanson and CBS 3’s Vittoria Woodill contributed to this report.