SUNDERLAND’S brave Boxing Day Dippers are being urged to get their money in.
Almost 1,000 people braved the icy waters off Seaburn in December, raising more than £70,000 for a huge range of charities and good causes.
Dippers are free to donate money to any cause, but dip organiser Sunderland Lions Club takes a 20 per cent cut which it uses to finance its own community work across Wearside.
Hogwarts pupils, video games characters, superheroes and penguins were among the costumes at this year’s dip, while the bitterly cold weather was not enough to deter thousands of spectators who packed onto the beach and promenade.
The fancy dress prizes for this year’s dip will be handed out at a presentation ceremony to be held at the Chesters pub in Chester Road on Thursday, March 13, and organisers are urging dippers to have their money in before then.
“Some 942 dippers took to the water, with an estimate of £72,000 promised in sponsor money for various charities,” said Sunderland Lions club spokeswoman Anne Fielding.
“Dippers were given an envelope after the dip, with all the instructions for paying in etc. All money should be paid in to the National Westminster bank and Lions will then pay 80 per cent to dippers’ chosen charity.
“Obviously, the Lions take 20 per cent towards our charity account which helps those in this city who write to us for funding.”
Originally held in 1974, Sunderland’s Boxing Day Dip is one of the oldest in the country and attracts entries from businesses, community groups, teams pubs, clubs and individuals.
The event, the biggest of its kind in the region, remains a major draw for fund-raisers.