Polar Bear Dip Raises Over $8200
Prince George, B.C. – Hundreds of people in the Prince George area welcomed the arrival of the New Year by cheering on the participants in the 16th annual Polar Bear Dip at the Ness Lake Bible Camp on Sunday.
The event is held to raise money for the camp sponsorship fund which makes camp possible for families who would otherwise not be able to afford to send their youngster to participate.
A total of $8,200 was raised at the event, including $3,800 in corporate contributions.
But the greatest kudos go to 17-year-old Nikita McCrea (in photo below). She was the top individual fundraiser, producing an astounding $2,500.
Sixty people, including one lady from Ottawa and another from Australia, registered to take the dip in the frigid waters of Ness Lake and more than one variation on the Leonard Cohen tune “Hallelujah” was audible. And as organizer Dave Horton explained to participants beforehand, “we need you guys to go in in pairs or triplets, no more than that because the ice is very, very thick this year. It’s about 18 inches of rock hard, clear ice, we haven’t seen ice like this in a very long time.”
Facilities Manager Joe Klassen and his team used chainsaws to cut through the ice to create a 15-foot by 30-foot hole Sunday morning and then a crew of 7 volunteers spent two hours shoveling snow from the surface and removing the blocks of ice. This year for safety reasons participants entered the water from the beach instead of jumping into the deeper water further out.
Members of the Ness Lake Volunteer Fire Department were on hand to aid anyone who encountered difficulty. But nobody did.
Dippers and spectators alike enjoyed a beautifully sunny day as well as complimentary cinnamon buns and hot chocolate at the conclusion of the Polar Bear Dip, which also saw Camp Director Elliott Harder and his family take the plunge.