SEASIDE HEIGHTS — The skies were overcast and the Atlantic was just a few degrees above freezing.

But it almost could have been a nice summer's day judging by the crowds of tens of thousands that turned up in Seaside Heights on Saturday morning.

It was the 26th annual Polar Bear Plunge at Seaside, with 7,458 swimsuit-clad souls dunking into the frigid ocean to raise a record $2.3 million for Special Olympics New Jersey. Cheering them on were about 50,000 spectators.

The New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association donated $25,000.

Retired State Police Maj. Kevin Burke, the event's chairman, said 85 percent of every dollar raised goes toward the Special Olympics and its 25,000 athletes.

Last year, the event raised $2.2 million.

Want to donate? It's not too late. More information is available at the nonprofit's website.

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