Hundreds of participants take part in the annual Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville. The Polar Bear Dip started in 1996 with the Courage brothers, Todd and Trent.
“This is our 16 year doing it. Originally we started by our mother telling us to get off the couch and do something on Jan. 1 and we were feeling a few cobwebs in our heads after New Years Eve. We did not get off the couch and she told us to jump in the lake jokingly and a bunch of us did at that time,” said Trent.
What a better way to start the New Year than taking a fresh cold drip in Lake Ontario?
Last year the event had the largest number of participants, over 620 people. In addition, there were about five thousand spectators.
The goal for this year is to get over 600 participants jumping in and raising over $100,000.
The money raised from this years event will contribute to “the Manonga Water and Sanitation Project in Tanzania and bring clean water to 6,000 people. This project will build 10 borehole wells, provide improved sanitation facilities, teach proper hygiene and sanitation practices and allow vegetable and fruit trees to be planted to protect the environment and provide income that will maintain the wells,” according to the Polar Bear Dip website.
Those wanting to join in the fun can take part in the event or cheer on participants January 1st at Coronation Park in Oakville, Ontario at 2 p.m.
“What we have tried to do over the years is look at different countries and what their needs are at that time. As we work with World Vision they have suggested a few areas that need help, such as the water project,” said Trent.
The event is not only fun and exhilarating for participants and onlookers but money is raised for a great cause.
The event also includes live music and a costume contest. Previously those participating in the dip have come in wedding dresses and Karate attire. A few prizes previously won include: PlayStation, computers and signed basketballs by the Raptors.
Participants come from all over the Greater Toronto Area as well as the U.S, Jamaica, and Japan.
For more information on the Courage Polar Bear Dip and how to donate visit, www.polarbeardip.ca.