The members of the rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead are already working on the 8th annual PolarRotary Bear Plunge which will be held on February 6, 2016 at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa beach This incredibly fun fundraiser will be held at 10 a.m. so if you can’t participate make a note on your 2016 calendar to be sure to attend and enjoy all the fun!
Styled after fundraising “Walk-a-Thons” hearty volunteers dip into the freezing cold water of Lake Arrowhead to raise money for the Lake Arrowhead Rotary foundation and for their favorite charitable organization as well. Last year, a record $27,625 was raised by 65 intrepid plungers and hopefully the upcoming 2016 event will raise even more.
Event founder and chairman Dr. Patrick Rains hopes to smash all records this year and he encourages all who are involved with nonprofit organizations to consider the PolaRotary Bear Plunge as a fundraising opportunity.
Those who jump can split the pledges they collect from their individual sponsors between the Rotary Foundation and another charity of their choice. Recipients in the past have included Soroptimist, the Rim Education Foundation, Operation Provider, the Arrowhead Arts Association, CSUSB Mountain Scholarship Fund, Special Olympics, the Susan G. Koman Foundation as well as several mountain churches.
New this year will be the participation of several Rotary District governors from neighboring southern California areas. Under the PolaRotary Plunge rules, the first $1,00 that they can raise will be split evenly with the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead but every dollar thereafter will go entirely to their respective Rotary Districts. Last February 65 braves souls took the plunge, benefitting 27 different charities Jumpers have included state assemblymen, county supervisors, several mountain Citizens of the Year, college professors, clergymen, school board members and a wide range of businesses and community leaders. Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Dr. Patrick Rains share the distinction of jumping every year since the annual event began. Professor Barbara Miller, 83 years young, has been the oldest participant and she is planning to take the refreshing dip for the fifth time.
There are only three rules with which jumpers must comply: No wet suits, are allowed, no nudity and all “jumpers” must complete a total submersion in the lake. The event will be filmed again by the Rim High Film Club with DVD’s given to all participants. Copies of this fabulous event can be purchased as a way to remember this great, clever and ever-so-cold (but exciting) event.
Rotary Plungers are encouraged to wear a costume as it adds a lot to this unique fundraiser. Trophies, donated by the Coffee and Tea Exchange, Sondra’s of Lake Arrowhead the local branch of Union Bank, will be awarded to individual jumpers and teams with the best costumes. Throughout the years divine divas, kings and queens, Darth Vader and Marilyn Monroe have been spotted braving the cold waters. A hit last year was the Mountain Sunrise Rotary Synchronous Jumping Team). “Jumpers” can be part of a team or they can “take the plunge” individually.
The lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is not only providing the venue again this year, but they graciously are allowing jumpers to use their hot tubs, changing rooms and showers immediately after their refreshing dip in the lake. It’s always fun to see the “jumpers” slowly get out of the lake and onto the very wet sand (often at a crawl) and then immediately hit the Jacuzzi where they happily warm up in the hot bubbling water.
For more information about becoming a jumper, a sponsor or a donor call (909) 744-8782.
This event is fabulous, fun and it is a wonderful way for the local Rotary to make some money. Even if you can’t participate or donate to those who do you might want to dress warmly and go watch the fun at the beach at the resort. You’ll enjoy every second…and who knows, you might decide to “take the jump” next year.