Want to Help Rotary Help Non-Profits ? Seventh Annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge Feb. 7

SoroptimstsWhile most people are singing “It’s The Time of Year When the World Falls in Love” and other holiday songs the members of the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead are busy, busy, busy planning for a February 2015 fundraiser that is unique to the mountains.

Each year the members spend countless hours planning for their upcoming PolaRotary Bear Plunge and this year, of course, is no exception. We all know there are many ways that organizations raise money but this event, held annually at the Lake Arrowhead Resort, surely has to be one of the most fun and innovative all at the same time. While many organizations sort of “shut down” during the cold winter months (snow or no snow) local Rotary members and their supporters actually voluntarily leap into the freezing cold waters of beautiful Lake Arrowhead to raise money. Then, once the funds are raised by generous donors they’re not off to the warm weather of Hawaii but they use the revenue to help pay for scholarships for graduating local school seniors and many, many other local (and national and international) philanthropic ventures. Last year alone the 53 “plungers” raised over $20,000 for this philanthropic organization.

Event founder and chairman Dr. Patrick Rains hopes to smash all records this year and he encourages all involved with nonprofit organizations to consider the PolaRotary Bear Plunge as a fundraising opportunity.

The Bialecki had a great time at least year's "leap" so I hope they participate again.
The Bialecki had a great time at least year’s “leap” so I hope they participate again.

Those who “jump in the lake” can choose to split the money they collect from their individual sponsors between the Rotary Foundation and another charity of their choice. In past years many “on the mountain” charities have been the benefactors of funds from this incredible event. Some of those recipients have included Soroptimist International of the Rim of the World Community, the Rim Education Foundation, Arrowhead Arts Association, Cal State University San Bernardino scholarship Fund, UCLA Mountain Bruins Scholarship Fund, Hearts and Lives, Prevenvion Y Recate and the San Bernardino County Firefighters Association, among many others. Next year’s event will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 7, 2015. Even if you don’t participate you might want to attend anyway just because it is so much fun to watch. Last year members of the award-winning Rim High Band helped keep everyone’s spirits up (not that they need it) but they certainly added to the fun. The band will be there for the 2015 fun as well so come on out and enjoy the site and the sight (even if you’re not jumping!)

Fifty-three brave souls took the plunge last February and that benefitted 20 different charities. Pasadena College professor, Dr. Barbara Miller, who is a young 82-years-old, raised $710 for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and she’s planning on jumping again this year.   Other jumpers have included State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, former County Supervisor Neil Derry, several mountain  citizens of the year, clergymen, school board members and a wide range of business and community leaders. Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Dr. Patrick Rains share the distinction of participating every year since the annual event began.

There are only three rules with which jumpers must comply. The rules are that no one can wear a wetsuit, no nudity is allowed and complete water submersion is required.

The event will be filmed by the Rim High Film Club and all jumpers will receive copies and copies are available for purchase.

Rotary Polar Bear plunge 007A colorful tradition among PolaRotary plungers is to wear a costume and this is such a fun part of this exciting event.Not everyone wears a costume but it enhances the great atmosphere and it’s always, always, great to see who wears what. It is truly hilarious, at times.

Prizes are donated by the Coffee and Tea Exchange, the local branch of Union Bank and they will be awarded to the jumpers who wear the best costumes. “Divine Divas, mafiaosos, kings and queens, “Darth Vader” and “Marilyn Monroe” have been spotted in past years braving the cold water. It really is hilarious and so much fun so consider “being a jumper” to help Rotary raise money for all they do in the mountain communities. This event truly is wonderful!

If you want to participate there are only three requirements to be part of this great event: no wet suits are allowed, no nudity is definitely not allowed and complete submersion into the lake is required (but there’s no time limit, so it’s always in and out!) Thanks to the talented students who are part of the Rim High School Film Club all participants will receive a DVD of the event and additional copies will be available for purchase.

The Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is not only providing the venue again this year but they will graciously allow jumpers to use their hot tubs, changing rooms and showers immediately after each person’s “refreshing dip into the lake.”

For more information about becoming a jump, a sponsor or donor, log onto: polartarybearplunge.com and click on the words “Jump In” or look for @RotaryPlunge on Twitter. You can also contact Dr. Rains at: ahvet@hotmail.com. Just think the next time someone tells you to go jump in the lake you might just do that if it’s February 7.





Another Fabulous Rotary Plunge Fundraiser!

Rotary Polar Bear plunge 007To put it mildly  this year’s Rotary Polar Bear Plunge today, February 1, was aptly named because it was freezing outside the nice warm confines of the Lake Arrowhead Resort. On hand for the local Rotary’s annual Polar Bear Plunge, the weatherman (or woman) decided that this was the year for strong winds and below freezing temperatures. The “plungers” who had collected donations for Rotary’s mountain philanthropic endevors got into the water and out as quickly as they could. With the temperature below freezing along the shore the water was frigid, and that’s putting it mildly.

However, that didn’t daunt the enthusiasm of the participants as they ran into the lake. One of the rules of this fundraising event is that participants must completely submerge themselves in Lake Arrowhead. With the frigid winds blowing this morning it made the participant’s “jump” go as quickly as possible so they could also get out of the cold water as quickly as possible. One of the things that makes this event so much fun is that the participants were a costume of their choosing and that adds a lot to the event.

Darth Vader never looked so good!
Darth Vader never looked so good!

Supporters of this event, and the jumpers, lined the shore shouting encouragement to the participants and since costumes are a huge part of the fun, there were many great ones. However, once the participants submerge themselves in the lake climbing back up the shore becomes more difficult because they costumes they are wearing are soaking wet, let along their bodies are freezing. There were a large number of local mountain organizations that “jumpers” supported and these groups will receive funds that were collected by the “jumper.”

Way to go, Rotary. You’ve pulled off another great Polar Bear Plunge and a huge thank you and round of applause goes to all those brave (or crazy ) enough to literally “go jump in the lake.”

Originally, the Rotary Polar Bear Plunge was the brainchild of local veterinarian Dr. Patrick Rains. He is past present of the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead and along with his wife, JoBonita Rains, he is a former Citizen of the Year. Pat swears he was not on artificial stimulants when he hatched this idea and through the years it has become more and more popular and more entries participate.

This event is in its sixth year and it has become the club’s second biggest fundraiser and this area’s biggest winter fundraiser. The Rotary Club’s most important and biggest fundraiser is the annual June Art and Wine Festival which is also held on the shore of Lake Arrowhead.Hugh Bialecki

The plunge is scheduled precisely in the middle of winter and it is wedges between two federal holidays. Its timing is an effort to help the local economy in an otherwise soft period.

More than 50 jumpers participated in this year’s event and those “volunteers” were supporting 19 different charities with the money they individually raised from family, friends and other sources.The funds each jumper raises are divided between the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation and the jumper’s charity that he or she is supporting. All money over $1,000 collected by an individual jumper goes to the jumper’s designated charity and the number of charities is astounding.

Think the Bialecki "clan" is having fun?
Think the Bialecki “clan” is having fun?
Andrea Hilton was all dolled up for her jump. She is a longtime member of Soroptimist International in the mountains.
Andrea Hilton was all dolled up for her jump. She is a longtime member of Soroptimist International in the mountains.

After the “jumper” staggers out of the cold water he or she received a medal from beautiful actress/singer Gloria Loring who is a mountain resident.Joe Ramos, a local Rotarian who is also the district governor, assisted. As each jumper was announced by Ruth Lester, he or she ran or walked into the freezing cold water. Since most of them were wearing some type of costume it was hard for them to get out of the water and up the beach because whatever they were wearing was a lot heavier coming out of the water than it was going in.

This year”s participants ranged in age from 20-years-old to one brave jumper who has participated for years and is over 80-years-old. She received tumultuous applause as she walked, soaking wet of course, up the beach. Each of the participants, whether they “jumped” alone or with a group of friends or colleagues, received a huge ovation.

The first event was held in 2990 and there was snow and the following year when it took place there was a torrential downpour. The year 2011 was mild, clear and nippy weather and last year’s plunge was in the middle of an unseasonably warm weather anomaly. This year there was no snow on the ground but it was very windy and very cold and “plungers” were struggling with the cold as they came up the “path” that led to the hot Jacuzzi that the Lake Arrowhead Resort had waiting for them.

Without the support of the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa staff this event may not be the complete success it has always been. The help, support and cooperation of the staff and management is instrumental to the success of this winter event and Rotary members are grateful for the support. Because it was so windy this year the onlookers and supporters couldn’t wait to get  back inside the hotel while participants couldn’t get to the hot, bubbling spas fast enough; It truly was bitterly cold but once the participants hit the bubbling water they could relax and warm up…..they more than deserved it!

What a great event. The participants deserve a lot of credit and I know that Rotary appreciates all their efforts, especially this year when the temperature, partly due to the wind, must have been well below freezing.

That spa is sounding better and better!

Congratulations, Rotary and those who supported them on this annual winter event. I don’t have any idea at this point how much money was raised but I’m positive it’s several thousand dollars. Rotary is an organization that has done so much for mountain residents. They don’t make a big deal about it but they support the mountain communities in many different ways through the fundraising efforts and their generosity. This international organization is well represented by the local members as many of them are involved in a million different ways with life in the local areas.They quietly go about helping mountain residents and organizations and we are all the benefactors of that local, national and international support.

It’s that time again………….it’s the PolaRotary Bear Plunge.

Dressed in a bear costume Nancy Anderson from the "Bears are Us" program at Wildhaven Ranch came up with a "fish" after taking a dip in Lake Arrowhead.
Dressed in a bear costume last year Nancy Anderson from the “Bears are Us” program at Wildhaven Ranch came up with a “fish” after taking a dip in Lake Arrowhead.

The Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead is hosting its 6th annual fundraising event at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb 1. While no snow is expected this year the water temperature will be about 40 degrees fahrenheit.

Styled after fundraising “walk-a-thons,” volunteers dive into the freezing cold waters of Lake Arrowhead to raise money for the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation and their favorite charitable organization. Last year, over $20,000 was raised.

This year participants will include Cal State San Bernardino University President Tomas Morales who will be jumping for the CSUSB Mountain Community scholarship Fund. Jumping for the third time to benefit the Children’s Hospital is 82-year-old Professor Dr. Barbara Miller, Rim of the World School District teachers and administrators and a wide range of business and community leaders.

Other benefactors of this year’s “split” will include Soroptimist International of the Rim of the World Communities, the Rim Education Foundation, Arrowhead Arts Association, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Preschool, Operation Provider and the Mt. Sunrise Rotary Foundation.

Approximately 50 brave jumpers are expected to take the plunge which will benefit 10 different charities.

There are only three rules which the jumpers must comply: The rules are * No wet suits * No nudity * and “Complete submersion” (no time limit).

Event co-chair Dr. Patrick Rains hopes to smash all records this year and he encourages all readers involved with nonprofit organizations to consider the PolaRotary Bear Plunge as a fundraising opportunity.

The event will be filmed by the Rim High Film Club with DVD’s given to all jumpers and copies available for purchase.

Prizes donated by The Coffee and Tea Exchange and the local branch of Union Bank will be awarded to the jumpers with the best costumes.

The Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is not only offering the venue again this year they are graciously allowing jumpers to use their hot tubs following their plunge.” Participants can also use the resort’s  changing rooms and showers immediately after their refreshing dip in the lake.

For more information about being a jumper, sponsor or donor, go to polarotaryplunge.com and click on the words ‘Jump In” or twitter @RotaryPlunge or Contact Dr. Rains at arhdvet@hotmail.,com

This is one event that is not only a lot of fun for spectators and participants but it is one that is unusual and one that past “jumpers” and spectators alike absolutely love. It’s great fun to see what people wear for their “plunge” and it’s always absolutely wonderful.

there are only three rules which the jumper

Annual Art and Wine Festival This Weekend in Lake Arrowhead

Rotary logoOne of the most exciting, interesting, fun events of the entire summer is almost here. I am speaking, of course, of the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club’s Annual Art and Wine Festival. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 29 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. on Sunday, June 30 The fun will be held at the Tavern Bay Beach Club. This special area is owned by the Arrowhead Lake Association and it is normally open only to members. I know that Rotary is grateful to ALA for allowing this wonderful summer event to be held at this beautiful spot right next to Lake Arrowhead. The beach club is located on the north shore of Lake Arrowhead and it is directly across from the beautiful UCLA Conference Center off Hwy. 173.

Trust me, this event is fabulous and the fact that it is right next to beautiful blue Lake Arrowhead only adds to the enjoyment. The number of craft and other booths is astounding and there’s always great music. If you leave there without buying a Rotary dog you’ll kick yourself. By the way, in case you don’t know what a Rotary dog it, it’s not a puppy or a dog…..it’s a delicious hot dog!

Last year’s Art Show included this fabulous selection of bras that were decorated by Soroptimist members. The bras were purchased and the money went to funding for mountain women who needed a mammogram but couldn’t afford to pay so the local group paid for the mammograms out of the funds they raised.



Have you ever wondered how Rotary can be so generous with donations, scholarships to graduates and many other mountaintop charities? Well, this is one of their major fundraisers. “It’s a very fun event and all the proceeds go to charity,” said Rotary Art and Wine Festival Chairman Bob Gladwell.

Included with the $5 entry fee you get a free shuttle boat ride from Lake Arrowhead Village across to Tavern Bay. The boat rides are generously donated by Mile High Marine and their assistance will certainly help keep guests from overflowing the parking areas surrounding the event. Take note: parking at the site is limited so taking a boat ride from the Village sounds like a great idea!

The admission fee includes a commemorative wine glass or metal water bottle. Admission to the VIP patio comes with a $50 donation and it includes a specialty gold-rimmed wine glass, special entertainment, excellent wine, expertise provided by the vintners and hors d’oeuvres provided by BIN 189 in the Lake Arrowhead Resort. Yum!

It’s going to be a warm weekend in Lake Arrowhead so leave your snow clothes at home. Because the event is located directly next to the lake you might want to take a light sweater if you’re planning on being there in the late afternoon. Be sure to take and apply some sun screen.

This fun event is a great way to begin your 4th of July weekend so whatever you do, don’t miss this huge and always-marvelous Rotary fundraiser.

Rotary does so many things for the community and helps so many people but they are only able to do that because of the public support they receive at their fundraising events.

I know you’ll have a great time. Enjoy.

Art, Wine, Friends and Crafts=Rotary Fundraising Festival

Rotary logoHave you attended the annual Rotary Art and Wine Festival? If not, you don’t know what you’re missing and you need to take a pen, walk over to your calendar and jot down June 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All you have to do is show up at the beautiful Tavern Bay Beach Club on the shore of Lake Arrowhead and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Each year this popular event just gets better and better and bigger and bigger and all the proceeds go to support Rotary charities.

In addition to wine tasting guests stroll (or race, depending on how much time they have) and look at all the booth offerings. It really is quite exciting. Look for ceramics, jewelry, wood carvings, painting with many different mediums, glass items and just about any other “craft” or artwork you can enjoy. Looking for something unique for yourself or a gift? You’re bound to find it at this event because there will over 50 booths.

You are welcome to bring your spouse, your children, your grandchildren,  the kids down the block but leave “Fido” home because no dogs are allowed. Rotary and the Arrowhead Lake Association members love dogs but they need to stay home for this event.

See you there!


“Come on, Baby, Let the Good Times Roll” at Rotary Sock Hop

50s dancers“Let’s Go to the Hop” on Sunday, June 2 from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. where we can have a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going on.

Well, Be, Bop a Loo La,” we’re going to  “Twist and Shout” all night long at the Lake Arrowhead Country Club on Golf Course Road in (not surprisingly, in Lake Arrowhead). We’re going to see “Peggy Sue” and the “Big Bopper”  and we’re going to “Shake, Rattle and Roll” but not on “Blueberry Hill“.

Well-a, well-a, well-a…………..you know the old ’50s saying, “Be There or Be Square!” Don’t let that happen to you….put on your best ’50s or ’60s clothes and join the crowd. You’ll have a ball at this Rotary sponsored even and you can forget about a curfew or telling “your mama” why you were out late.

They’ll be great food too so enjoy the fabulous 50s/60s buffet.

This is one of the biggest fundraising events for Mountain Sunrise Rotary so we need to support them because they support so many things in the mountain communities. Rotary does so much for mountain residents but they need your help and support in order to be able to give scholarships and many other community donations, help to families and other  charities throughout the Rim of the World communities. All the proceeds from this fun event will be donated to Rotary’s worldwide effort to eliminate polio.

For information or to reserve your ticket call Cheryl or Barry at (909) 878-6699. There’s only 150 tickets and they’re going quickly. If you want to reserve a spot for your classic car or motor bike but you don’t want to enjoy the delicious dinner or the other Sock Hop fun and festivities call Mike at (909) 338-1053. The charge is $20 to participate in the classic car show.

The beautiful Lake Arrowhead Country Club  is located at 250 Golf Course Road. Have fun!

The Dynamic Duo: Rudy and Karyn Westervelt

Rotary members Jim Monson and Rudy Westervelt congratulate Mountain High School graduate Adam Nelson on his incentive award. Adam was the Student Representative to the Board of Trustees during the first half of this school year.
Rotary members Jim Monson and Rudy Westervelt two years ago at the awards ceremony for graduating seniors. Westervelt is pictured on the right.

Congratulations to Rudy and Karyn Westervelt who were two of the people recently honored by the League of Women Voters of San Bernardino during the organization’s recent award ceremony in San Bernardino.

The active couple was two of the San Bernardino County residents who were honored during the league’s exciting event last Sunday, April 27 which was held at the Native Sons of the Golden West Hall in San Bernardino.

According to mountain resident Gloria Anderson, president of the San Bernardino chapter of the League of Women Voters, the Westervelt’s were honored for their longtime active participation in Rotary International in the mountain communities. Through their efforts, and those of local Rotary chapters, many lives have been changed for the better due to their support.

In some ways Rudy and Karyn are the mountain’s “Dynamic Duo” and while they spend much of their lives involved in community events and/or programs they don’t do it for the notoriety. They do it because it comes from their hearts, their love for the mountains and its residents. They both work so hard to help make life easier for families and individuals and they donate an enormous amount of their time to make mountain living better. To put it mildly, “they succeed!” While many people volunteer, some people go beyond the call of duty and this couple falls into the latter category.

Both Rudy and Karyn have tremendous drive and it seems, not surprisingly, they share their hearts with others. If they didn’t they wouldn’t give so much time to the community in so many ways.

I can’t think of a more deserving couple to be honored with the “2013 Citizens of Achievement” award from the League of Women Voters.

Forget Batman and Robin………………..the Westervelt’s truly are The Dynamic Duo.