Hundreds Mark 2014 with a Polar Plunge into Lake Ontario

OAKVILLE, ON, Jan. 1, 2014 /CNW/ – On New Year’s Day more than 700 enthusiastic dippers dared to dip into the lake at Coronation Park in Oakville in what was the coldest dip in the past five years.

Temperatures hovering at -18 with windchill, and the water at 2 degrees made for an energizing kick start to the year.

“It’s a great way to start the year,” said mom Tatiana and daughter Natasha. “And it’s now a bit of our mother and daughter tradition.”

Thousands of spectators cheered on the dippers, many who were clad in wild costumes.  This year some zombies, a minion, Gene Simmons and Marilyn Monroe were just a few who joined the festivities.

The event raised $137,000 dollars and all funds raised go to support clean water projects in Rwanda, allowing a community of over 7,000 people have access to clean water by providing them a water pipeline and training in good hygiene practices.

“By doing this fun and exhilarating act, we literally saved lives today,” said dip co-founder Todd Courage. He, along with his mother and brother Trent, visited Rwanda four years ago to see how World Vision was helping communities through wells, improved sanitation facilities and sustainable gardens that provide income.  “I saw hundreds of children carrying heavy yellow containers of water, walking many miles to deliver it back to their villages and homes – it’s this image that motivates us to keep doing this.”

The Courage Polar Bear Dip is Canada’s largest polar bear dip for charity. Now in its 29th year, it has raised more than a million dollars since teaming up with World Vision in 1995.

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SOURCE The Courage Polar Bear Dip

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