The annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge will be returning this year after a one year leave of absence.

An important annual fundraiser for the animal shelter, Forever Paws, was also canceled last year, in part because of bad weather and an unstable political climate.

According to The Herald News, the event organizer and outgoing City Counselor, Pat Casey, plans to bring back the fundraiser, which will be held on New Year’s Day at 10 am, at Sandy Beach at Mount Hope Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard in Fall River.

The plunge will take place in the waters of Mount Hope Bay at 10:30am. Last year would have been the Polar Plunge’s fifth year, but it was postponed on New Year’s Day due to the recall election that would take former Mayor Will Flanagan, a major supporter of the event, out of office and was scheduled for February 14th.

Casey, who will leave office at the end of this year, organized the event that raised $8,000 last year at the polar plunge for Forever Paws.

Forever Paws President, Gail Furtado, stated that she was “pleasantly surprised” that the plunge will be coming back to Fall River this year.

Forever Paws will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016, and has been at its Lynwood Street location in Fall River for 10 years. According to Furtado, it was Casey who helped the organization secure the land where the shelter is built.

For more information to sign up for the Polar Plunge, contact the mayor’s office at 508-324-2600, Casey at 508-320-9569 or Furtado at 508-678-0804.

With additional reporting by Sal Lopez

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