LONG BEACH - Thousands of people were on the shores of Long Beach today to get their hearts pumping by taking a freezing dip in the frigid waters, and it was all for a good cause.

The annual Long Beach Polar Bear Plunge raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Co-founder Pete Meyers says the plunge has raised more than $4 million for the charity since 2000.

"We think it's a real testament to Long Beach," Meyers said. "It's a real communal town, everyone steps up to a good cause, and Make-A-Wish is a great cause."

The weather was mild for February, but the water was still exceptionally chilly.

Participants said this year was exceptionally special because it's the first year the plunge took place with the new Long Beach boardwalk. It was under construction last year after being torn apart by Superstorm Sandy.