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Canada’s Largest Polar Bear Dip Raises Money For Clean Water With Dip-At-Home Challenge

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Courage Polar Bear Dip, the largest and longest-running charity event of its kind in Canada, this year aims to raise $100,000 to support World Vision’s clean water initiatives by allowing to participants to “dip their own way” this New Year’s.

In past years, hundreds of brave dippers have come out to Coronation Park in Oakville for the annual Jan. 1 plunge into the freezing waters of Lake Ontario. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Courage family team will host a virtual experience again this year, including Dip Day traditions like the costume contest, live music, activities for the whole family, and videos of participants dipping safely from their own homes.

“As the pandemic still grips the world, the need for clean water is more critical than ever for millions of children and their communities,” said Trent Courage, event co-founder. “That’s why the funds we raise are so important. We’ve been astounded by the generosity of those who dip with us every year and who have helped us raise over $2 million to date, to fund World Vision’s clean water projects. Whether you stay warm and donate online, or dip in a chilly snowbank or pool, you can make it your dip, your way, from anywhere in the world!”

The Courage Polar Bear Dip began on New Year’s Day in 1985 when Gaye Courage dared her boys Todd and Trent to get off the couch and go “jump in the lake” to wake themselves up. They took up the challenge and over the next few years it snowballed. As the event grew larger, the brothers realized this was an opportunity to fundraise for a good cause and in 1995 they teamed up with World Vision Canada. Since then, over $2 million has been raised to support clean water projects around the world.

Jan. 1, 2022, marks the 37th year of the dip and the 27th consecutive year the Courage Polar Bear Dip has partnered with World Vision Canada to raise funds for clean water projects in Africa. This year’s funds will support projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia.

“I can’t think of a better way to usher in 2022 than to participate in the Courage Polar Bear Dip!” said Michael Messenger, President of World Vision Canada. “It’s so much fun, and a little bit crazy. And it’s for such a good cause: providing clean water to vulnerable communities. Access to clean water is essential for children’s health and hygiene, as well as helping to fight COVID-19.”

The Courage Polar Bear Dip began on New Year’s Day in 1985 when Gaye Courage dared her boys Todd and Trent to get off the couch and go “jump in the lake” to wake themselves up. They took up the challenge and over the next few years it snowballed. As the event grew larger, the brothers realized this was an opportunity to fundraise for a good cause and in 1995 they teamed up with World Vision Canada. Since then, over $2 million has been raised to support clean water projects around the world.

The live experience dip will run on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, starting at 1 p.m.

Canadians across the country can register for the free event or donate on the Courage Polar Bear Dip website.

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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