Sunday, April 21, 2024

Save Georgian Bay Hosts Third Annual Polar Dip

Bright sunshine and bluebird-coloured skies, with a breeze and a few whitecaps, set the scene for the third annual Save the Bay Polar Dip, Saturday, February 24. Twenty-six dippers entered the frigid waters of Georgian Bay at Fred Raper Park at 1 p.m.

They ignored the cold air and the chunks of frazil ice and waded in until submerged. Some stayed in for a bit and others got out as fast as they went in. A few went in twice. The general consensus was that it was “an experience”, although one said it was more than that. They felt more connected to the bay.

Onlookers and dippers were treated to the drumming and singing of Nadine and Ronnie from Owen Sound. One song was about butterflies and freedom, and another was about bravery. They sang the dippers out and then back in again. There was also coffee provided by McGinty’s, and hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of Save Georgian Bay Association, which coordinated the day’s events.

Some were there for the experience and others to support those who chose to dip, but it was all about the cause – save the bay from the pumped storage facility proposed by TC Energy. To that end, ‘generosity’ was the word of the day. One young man convinced his boss to allow him a few hours off on a busy Saturday to participate. Sponsors of the dippers donated online. People wrote cheques and filled the donation boxes with cash. Ours is a generous community in pocketbook and in spirit. Over $16,000 was raised.

‘Thanks’ was the word that the Save Georgian Bay fundraising team heard often. Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for the fire and the warming tent. Thanks for the entertainment and refreshments. Thanks for making this a safe event, and most of all, thanks for doing this for our community,” said organizers.

Donations can still be made through the website https://savegeorgianbay.ca/ and tax receipts will be provided by ‘Small Change Fund’, and yes, if you missed this opportunity, they will do it all again next year.

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