Freezin’ for a Reason, Volunteer Polar Bears Raise Money

Long Islanders participated in a polar plunge at James Caples Beach in Amityville, NY to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit in Casco, Maine, that provides free retreats for families whose children suffer from a life threatening illness, such as cancer.

“It seems like just a simple idea, but no one else does it.” says Ann Feminella, whose son Joey Feminella, was diagnosed with cancer 12 years ago, “No one treats the whole family.”

Her son is now cancer free and participates in the polar plunge every year.

Camp Sunshine is the only full-time retreat facility in the United States that offers respite services for the whole family of a cancer patient. The organization operates year round to give a week long retreat filled with activities to help ease the emotional and physical pressure families feel from treatments and stress.

“It’s the tenth year that we’ve been doing these polar dips,” says Kayley Walker, Development Associate for Camp Sunshine, “so we decided to do ten this year. The farthest north we have is Bangor, Maine and the farthest south is in Virginia.”

All the proceeds from this event will go towards sponsoring Long Island families for the retreat.