Mike and Lindsay Feeley faced a cold splash of reality the morning after their wedding on New Year’s Eve.
But, it wasn’t regret they were feeling.
The newlywed couple from Morris Plains, Morris County, were among hundreds of people who plunged into the frigid ocean next to the Music Pier on Friday afternoon as part of Ocean City’s traditional “First Dip in the Ocean 2016” to celebrate the new year.
Although the couple couldn’t convince their bridal party to join them in the water, their friends and family cheered from the beach.
Conditions were far from ideal for a polar plunge, with water temperatures at 50 degrees, no sun and a steady wind. But, the Feeleys weren’t about to let a little chill stop them from supporting a good cause.
Those who took the leap into the ocean Friday, as well as those who watched from the beach, were asked to donate to the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing drunk driving by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers. John Elliott, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was killed by a drunk driver in July 2000 as he was traveling home to South Jersey for his mother’s birthday.
Before their first polar plunge in Ocean City, the newlyweds ran in the 5K Boardwalk Run.
“We love to run, and we love the cause, so it all fit together nicely,” Lindsay Feeley said on the beach Friday afternoon, after she and her husband emerged from the water, with big smiles. Lindsay Feeley was draped in a large beach towel, and wore a white veil. Her husband wore a tuxedo T-shirt.
Mike and Linsday Feeley, both 33, were married Thursday evening at the Ocean City Yacht Club, and celebrated New Year’s Eve with 130 guests.
Although their first full day as a married couple wasn’t typical, Mike Feeley said the run and plunge are the start of something special for him and his wife.
“I think it’s going to be a cool tradition,” he said. “I would do it again.”
As they shivered on the beach, their thoughts turned to their next destination: A honeymoon in a slightly more tropical location, Bali.