A crowd of nearly 40 people assembled at the water's edge in Lincolnville Beach New Year's Day for the annual Dip for Derek Polar Challenge.

About two dozen brave individuals waded into – and ran out of – the water in 20-degree weather to raise money for the Derek O'Brien Trust. A Rockport native, O'Brien suffered a broken spine in a 2005 swimming accident.

Organizer Peter Roper said the youngest entrant was 7 years old; there were about five first-timers this year, he said. Previous years have seen as many as 70 people join the run into the bracing ocean, and as few as four, he said.

O'Brien himself was on hand in his wheelchair, as he usually is, greeting participants and donors to his cause. An avid photographer and new media student, he said he makes a practice of having a photography theme for each day.

Pam Tibbetts came in costume, wearing a bright red wig with jiggly stars that said “Happy New Year” sticking out of it and spectacles made out of the numbers 2-0-1-4.

The fundraiser is ongoing; those wishing to contribute without going into the Atlantic in January may send checks payable to the Derek O'Brien Trust to 10 Spring St., Camden, ME 04843.

For more information, contact Roper at 236-0074.