THUNDER BAY – With nearly two months to go before this year’s Thunder Bay Polar Bear Plunge, the biggest question might not be how much money is raised, but if there will be any snow or ice around on April 6 at Prince Arthur’s Landing.
While Mother Nature could still provide a few twists this winter, event chair Ryan Gibson said there’s a plan in place for whatever Lake Superior is like on jump day.
“We’ve been through this once before where the lake didn’t freeze,” Gibson added.
“It’s super safe and nothing will happen to you at all. You’ll have a good time, you’ll jump in and it will feel amazing afterwards.”
Thursday marked the kickoff for this year’s plunge, with a goal already set to raise $75,000 for the Thunder Bay Special Olympics, the CNIB, PRO Kids, and Roots Community Food Centre.
Title sponsor PDR Contracting has already donated $20,000 for the event, which raised nearly $140,000 in 2023.
“That was like a home run for us last year but we don’t want to get greedy,” Gibson said. “We just want to raise as much as we can for these great charities.
“Our community is an extremely generous one and we’ve always done very well. Our goal is $75,000 and anything after that is fantastic.”
Nazrin Navas, who is a student in Confederation College’s development services worker program, participated in the plunge for the first time last year and said it was a memorable experience.
“I come from India and that’s a hot place so jumping into the ice water was a bit of a nightmare. I don’t know how to swim either, so I thought I was going to die,” Navas said with a laugh.
“It ended up being a lot of fun and I’m going to do it again this year because of the great energy that was there. I would tell someone that hasn’t done it before to try it. You’re going to love it.”
Registration details and more information on the event can be found on the Polar Bear Plunge’s website.