The Town of Sylvan Lake’s annual Polar Bear Dip took place in correspondence with Winterfest on Saturday.
Thirty nine jumpers from across Central Alberta gathered in support of their respective charities raising a total of over $30,000.
With well mannered weather gracing the first half of Saturday a large crowd was present for Saturday’s activities. The large crowd at the Polar Bear Dip was also graced with a special surprise as Sylvan Lake resident, Steven Ruttan took to one knee and proposed to girl fiend Trish Donnelly prior to their jump.
SPECIAL MOMENT - The crowd at the annual Polar Bear Dip witnessed a beautiful moment between Trish Donnelly and Steven Ruttan on Saturday afternoon as the local couple got engaged.
Donnelly surprise was applauded by the crowd as she accepting his proposal leaving the ice rescue team in the water worried she may lose her heavy new rock to the bottom of the lake. The pair were jumping in support of Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society and along with their team mates raised a combined …. for local rescue society.
Michelle Houle, special events co-ordinator for the Town of Sylvan Lake, said this year’s Polar Bear Dip was without a doubt one of the most memorable in the Town’s history.
“Not only was their engagement a big surprise and extremely heart warming but this year’s dippers in general really blew us out of the water,” said Houle. “We cap our registrations at 50 individuals, this year we had 39 - but even though we had fewer dippers those who participated raised more than we have in past years when we were at max capacity.”
BEACON HILL SUPPORT - Bill McGill and principal of Beacon Hill Elementary, Trevor Sanche, were among the jumpers raising funds in support of the Beacon Hill Playground.
She added the support for local charity was extremely heart warming. Among the local charities being supported was the Beacon Hill Elementary Playground which saw $15, 163 raised to support the initiative. The second top funded charity was the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter seeing a total of $3,915. Sylvan Lake Jumpstart saw $2,235 raised to be the third top funded charity.
This year’s top fundraisers were Jennifer Belanger, Dianna Stewart. Nicole Evjen and Yvonne Spady who teamed up to raised $10,305 for the Beacon Hill Elementary Playground.
ICEY PLUNGE - Danielle Clifford and Julie Gibson were among the brave jumpers who took the icey plunge into the lake in support of Lakeview Parentlink. Over 30 jumpers took part in the event each raising funds for centralAlberta non-profits.