By Susan A. Neufeld
Lake Arrowhead, CA – The Tenth Annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge had 106 jumpers braving the chilly water, benefiting 39 charities. Preliminary figures indicate they exceeded their goal of raising $43,000. This brings the ten-year total raised for charity to over ONE QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS. The PolaRotary plunge is sponsored by the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club.
“Unfortunately, the weather was perfect”, said event organizer Dr. Patrick Rains. “We had sunshine and unseasonably warm weather with water temperature in the mid-forties, PolaRotary Bears like snow on the ground and ice on the lake, but it sure brought out the spectators! Crowd size was the largest ever, at over 250.”
More than a dozen different charities raised over $1,000, with Arrowhead Arts Association, Rim Education Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and Mountains Community Hospital Foundation all garnering over $3,500.
The list of organizations that will receive funds from the PolaRotary Plunge include: Boys and Girls Club, Soroptimist International ROW, Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, Project Child Save, Mountain Sunrise Rotary, The Knights of Columbus, and UCLA Mountain Bruins; just to name a few. Two groups which do marvelous work on the mountain, but are ineligible to be recipients of plunge pledges because they are not 503(c)(3) tax exempt organizations, entered teams to benefit other qualified causes. Staff members of Pali Mountain Camps jumped for the Mountain Homeless Coalition, raising nearly $1,000 in pledges; and the Lake Gregory Yacht Club plunged for Crestline’s Senior Nutrition Program, raising over $2,000.
“Without the co-operation of the beautiful Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, who provided the venue and valuable assistance, and the Arrowhead Lake Association, who allowed access to the lake and supplied logistical support, this event could not take place”, Rains said, “Their support is much appreciated. Thanks also to the individuals and organizations who supplied financial support, and all of those who volunteered time and expertise. Lastly, thanks to the heroes who braved the chilly waters of Lake Arrowhead to benefit so many worthy causes”. The PolaRotary Bear Plunge, always held on the first Saturday in February, is the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead’s winter fundraiser.
From its beginnings 10 years ago, with 20 jumpers and $11,000 raised to this year’s record-breaking performance, the annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge has become a signature mountain event. Join us for the 11th annual plunge on Saturday, February 2, 2019. Check it out on our website: http://www.polarotarybearplunge.com.