SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - Wearing bikinis and winter jackets, thousands made a New Year's resolution to help a local charity by taking an icy dip in the ocean.
Brian Moxey started Topsail's Dolphin Dip seven years ago to benefit the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center. Their goal is to bring people together to celebrate life.
Organizers said a quick dip in the ocean gives people an opportunity to challenge themselves and help others.
Each year the crowd comes with donations, costumes, and determination.
"Oh its cold in there, its flat out cold, there's no denying that," said Moxey. "People come out and you'll see some great facial expressions on the way out!"
Some families recruit, or maybe trick, visiting relatives into taking the plunge.
"I'm just going about knee level and my son is going to go in for me," said Al Wolitski who was visiting from Alberta, Canada.
The crowd lined up, the countdown began, and the crowd raced into the waves and right back out.
"You can't slow down or the people behind you will run you right over so you just gotta go for it," said Moxey.
For some participants, seeing the care and courage of the crowd had a personal impact.
"For me personally and for my friend here, being cancer survivors, its anything we can do to support the cause," said Kurt Coffield who was visiting from Akron, Ohio.
"I think it's the community spirit," said Jack Berry of New Charlottesville, Virginia. "It's one of the reasons my family loves coming to Topsail. It's a family oriented, community oriented place. This area of NC has that kind of value system and its not surprising that it brings out this many people."
To see more pictures from the Dolphin Dip in 2008 and previous years, visit the Dolphin Dip Extravaganza website.