The Red Cross is $1000 richer after about a dozen staff and volunteers braved the ocean for the annual Papamoa Polar Plunge.

Community fundraiser Maree Boyes accepted the cheque on behalf of the Red Cross team, which won the random prize draw after Sunday's plunge.

Read more: Bracing for Papamoa's Polar Plunge
Polar plunge to benefit others

It was her first time taking the plunge with about 13 other Red Cross staff and volunteers.

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"It was not as cold as I thought it was going to be. I wanted to get out but when I saw my colleague dive under again, I dived under one more time," she said.

Papamoa Polar plunge winners Jane Ford, Maree Boyes, Maree Wooddin and Chantelle Frost. Photo/George Novak
Papamoa Polar plunge winners Jane Ford, Maree Boyes, Maree Wooddin and Chantelle Frost. Photo/George Novak

Red Cross community programmes co-ordinator Jane Ford said the money would be spent on Tauranga youth.

"We have lots of programmes running for the youth," she said.

Papamoa Unlimited's Kate Percy guessed there were about 500 people who took the plunge.

Papa Moa's ark won the Papamoa Polar Plunge's best dressed prize. Photo/George Novak
Papa Moa's ark won the Papamoa Polar Plunge's best dressed prize. Photo/George Novak

"It was awesome, it was great to see such big numbers there doing things for the greater good."

The junior Papamoa Surf Lifesaving team won the $425 entry prize money for the best dressed.

About 20 children and adults dressed in animal onesies and called themselves Papa-Moa's-Ark.

Kim Cottle said it was a team effort. "Hopefully we can spend the money on some new oars for the club for training and more surf lifesaving."