After being canceled last year, the Corpus Christi Polar Bear Plunge resumed North Beach on Saturday afternoon in support of the ALS Therapy Development Institute, a nonprofit seeking to find a cure for the disease.
On an unusually warm New Year’s Day, more than 100 Coastal Bend residents and visitors signed up to run in Corpus Christi Bay in support of the institute.
From children to dogs, the beach was filled with participants who cooled off in the cold water.
The “divers” paid an entry fee of $30 each to participate. All registration fees will be donated to the association.
Even with last year’s cancellation, the Corpus Christi Polar Bear Plunge has raised more than $50,000 for ALS research since its launch in 2015.
Corpus Christi resident Tony Deleon said he had never participated in the Polar Bear Plunge before, but immediately signed up when he read what he was supporting.
“I have a few friends who unfortunately have ALS, so just supporting that in general makes me feel good and I hope that’s why people have come here,” Deleon said.
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This year’s event fulfilled an annual tradition for out-of-town resident Laura Renten. As a surgical technologist, Renten said it warms her heart to see so many people supporting some form of healthcare.
“I always like to pick one activity each year that benefits healthcare in some way,” Laura Renten said.
While she doesn’t call Corpus Christi home, Renten hopes to see even more community members participate in the future when she visits from North Carolina.
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“It’s my way of saying thank you to the community and it helps me figure out how I can help others who need help and support,” Renten said. “If participating helps at all, I’m still for it.”
Christopher Howley covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Support more coverage like this at Caller.com/subscribe.