Annual ‘Polar Plunge’ tops $12,000


Sixty-five people of all ages helped to raise more than $12,000 during this year’s “Polar Plunge” organized by the Voyageur Lions Club, with 50 of them brave enough to jump into the icy waters of Sand Bay in front of a crowd of spectators on New Year’s Day.
“It was a chilly day—the wind was quite fierce,” noted Val Martindale.
“But the jumpers seemed not to notice,” she added. “Perhaps, they were too intent on the waiting water.
“All in all, it was a great success,” Martindale said, although noting the numbers of jumpers and money raised both were down slightly from last year.
The top group fundraiser was the Muskie Sports Association, raising $2,240, with jumpers comprised of students from the different Fort High teams.
Junior girls’ volleyball players Hannah McLeod, Cassandra Moffitt, Maryam Seid, Celia Berry, Sarah Bagacki, and Sierra Cousineau raised $772.
Senior girls’ volleyball players Caitlin Sande, Chantal Jodoin, Alanna Walsh, Erika Moffitt, and Emily Drouin raised $355.
Meanwhile, Muskie curlers Cole Turcotte, Hailey Beaudry, Karleigh Wright, Luke Esselink, and Reece Jones jumped for $785 while generally for the Muskie Sports Association, Will Anderson, Jason Cain, and Keira Lindgren raised $350.
The Muskie girls’ hockey team, along with supporter Jake Clendenning, brought in $1,984.
Dancemakers was next, raising $1,023, with Kassidy LeDrew, Kailey Croswell, Hailey Wirtz, Maighyn DeGagne, Taylor Shouldice, and Danielle Hammond taking the icy plunge.
Raising money for a high school art trip to Greece, FFHS teacher Owen Johnston and students Ben Tysz, Jilayne Derksen, Sam Alexander, Katja Sutherland, and Emily Brown jumped for $809.67.
Johnston braved the waters a second time, jumping with Kiela Ford for $240 for the FFHS Travel Club’s trip to France and England during March Break.
Maureen Hahkala, dressed as the “Super Mario,” raised $523 for the Rainy River District Festival for the Performing Arts.
Bryanna Dustin and Madison Morrison, jumping on behalf of KidSport, raised $496.50.
Jumping for Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Rev. Jacob Quast and his son, Liam, raised $420 while local MP John Rafferty raised $60 for Special Olympics.
Kent Ogden and Dennis Ogilvie plunged for the Emo and District Lions Club, raising $800. Meanwhile, Jim Martindale, Dale Gill, Bill Michl, and Wayne Lundstrom combined to raise $2,805 for the local Voyageur Lions.
Seven-year-old Hallee Nugent raised $1,000 for World Vision, earning her the big prize of a Samsung home theatre sound system from Leon’s for being the top individual fundraiser.
Hahkala was the second-highest individual fundraiser while Morrison, LeDrew, DeGagne, and Tysz each took home $50 gift certificates from Canadian Tire for raising more than $300.
Hahkala, who last year dressed as “The Cat in the Hat,” once again took first place for best individual costume.
Other winners were Nugent and Rafferty.
A group costume prize was awarded to the FFHS art trippers, who were dressed as Greeks in anticipation of their upcoming trip.