Polar plunge hits Rainy Lake New Year’s Day

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

After an attempt to re-format the event in November backfired due to cold temperatures the Voyageur Lions Club is going back to the original format.

The Polar Plunge had been rebranded as the Chilly Dash and Splash in an effort to save on the labour required to clear and cut through the ice for the plunge, but the ice was too thick ahead of the date chosen according to organizer Bill Michl.

“The ice along the shore, if it was going to stay thin enough to break up, we could still run in,” Michl said. “But when I went to check it, it was at the point where it kind of held us for a while and wasn’t thin enough until further out.”

Ice conditions were deemed not safe for the planned event.

“It was going to be a danger to anybody,” Michl said. “The ice would break and then there would be sharp edges and stuff on the way back in, so that’s why we cancelled it.”

The event is still collecting registrations and fundraising. Registration will open at 12 p.m. on Jan. 1 with plunges to start at 1 p.m. At La Place Rendez-Vous.

The hotel offers a location with plenty of options for viewing as well.

“We hold it at the Rendez-Vous because they supply a change room for us and coffee and hot chocolate afterwards and a place where we can give out prizes and stuff,” Michl said. “So people can either stand up and look out the windows or come along the dock. We don’t want a whole lot of people out on the ice. We don’t know, until we actually make the hole, how safe it is.”

Prizes are given out for amounts of money raised and for costumes as well if plungers want to dress up. They would like all of the ‘dashers’ to raise at least $50 for the Lions Club and their efforts to support the community. The Voyageur Lions Club raises funds that go towards helping people in the community in all kinds of different situations.

For more information or to pick up pledge sheets, contact Bill Michl at 276-1334.