Making a splash at seventh annual Polar Dip

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Making a splash at seventh annual Polar Dip
Kyle Lalonde doing a cannon ball into the freezing water, Polar Dip 2019. Shawna O'Neill/TC Media photos.

ALEXANDRIA, Ontario – Community members gathered excitedly in Alexandria on Sunday, Feb. 17 take part in the seventh annual Polar Dip.

With temperatures hovering around negative 10 Celsius, 16 brave jumpers created a spectacle for a large crowd of attendees, leaping into a designated section of freezing water.

This was the first ever Polar Dip for friends Kyle Lalonde and Jon Newton. The two enjoyed themselves and tied in second place for best costume. Next year, they hope to entice more friends to join them.

“It was good, a great experience. I would definitely consider doing it again,” said Lalonde.

“Cold, but not as bad as I expected at all,” agreed Newton.

Donations collected and pledge funds raised by the jumpers will go towards the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.

“It preserves the history of sports,” said Rodney Shephard, event founder and organizer. “Glengarry county has a very rich sports origin. We have a beautiful hall in Maxville and it costs to upkeep it.”

Shephard wanted to start something slightly unconventional in the community to raise funds.

“We were looking for something different,” he said. “Every organization has (tournaments)…no one had a polar dip and I always wanted to do one myself. So, we have turned it into a very good fundraiser.”

Shephard said each year approximately $8,000 to $10,000 is raised; he is hoping to see similar numbers this year.

“I’m always happy to see the community come out and show support and give generous donations,” he said. “It’s also a good laugh.”

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