The Temple Israel Polar Bears will stage their annual New Year's Day fundraising plunge into Long Island Sound this year to benefit a nonprofit group that provides mental-health services to children.

The eighth annual foray into what likely will be a frigid Sound is planned at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1 at Compo Beach. Organizers are looking for participants to take pledges for the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County.

Patricipants may register online or by phone.

The Child Guidance Center annually treats about 2,000 children with a wide range of mental health and/or behavioral problems, according to its website. It serves clients in Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Weston and Wilton.

In a news release, the Polar Bears said they have raised nearly $600,000 for nonprofit organizations since their first Polar Plunge in 2008. Among past beneficiaries are Autism Speaks, Make-A-Wish Foundation CT and United Cerebral Palsy.

The group said sponsorship opportunities are available.

To register for the plunge or for more information, visit or call Marissa Mangone at 203-858-5340 or Tom Patterson at 917-653-7384.