On Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. community leaders and members of the public will gather for the annual Polar Bear Dip in Sylvan Lake.
This year’s event will see a number of individuals take the icy plunge in support of the Beacon Hill Elementary School Playground Committee. Among those raising funds for the playground are Jas Payne and Sean McIntyre, as well as principal of Beacon Hill Elementary School, Trevor Sanche.
Beacon Hill Elementary School, which opened to students in November of 2016, was built without a budgeted playground. This has left students and staff of the school to find other ways to play during scheduled recesses.
The Polar Bear Dip, which coincides with the Town of Sylvan Lake’s annual Winterfest, has remained a fantastic community initiative throughout the years and an important event for many local non-profit groups.
In 2015, Payne braved the icy waters in support of the Sylvan Lake Spray Park Committee. The community leader saw substantial support from residents of Sylvan Lake during his last venture. This year, he has enlisted the help of McIntyre in hopes of raising enough funds to allow the playground at Beacon Hill to be built by September of 2017.
“I believe very strongly that play is an essential part of every child’s education,” said Payne. “I’d like to see this playground get built.”
McIntyre echoed Payne’s sentiments stating when the opportunity arose to jump in support of the Beacon Hill Playground he was hesitant at first as he has not taken the plunge previously.
“I knew this was a cause worth getting behind,” said McIntyre. “Kids need a place to be kids. The population of this school is currently 300 students and will grow to 500 in the coming years. The reality is, those kids need a place to play.”
Payne and McIntyre hope to see the community join together to continue to support Beacon Hill’s playground and have been rallying their fund raising efforts throughout their own circles as well as within the business community in Sylvan Lake.
Those interested in providing a pledge to support their cause are encouraged to email Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.