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Bel Rotary celebrates a successful Polar Plunge

by Ben Clarke

BEL Rotary Club recently celebrated the many sponsors, volunteers and plungers who made the 34th Polar Plunge such a success.

Back in early February, 95 intrepid plungers representing 32 teams jumped into the frigid waters of Chemong Lake in Ennismore and raised more than $42,000 to support local charities and the work of the Rotary Club of Bridgenorth -Ennismore-Lakefield.

“The plunge went off like clockwork thanks to the tremendous work of the volunteers and community supporters,” said Chairperson Tony Davidson during the celebration.

“It is truly a community event and it is the efforts of everyone concerned that makes it such a success. In the end, it is the charities and the work of BEL Rotary that are the true benefactors.”

Over the years hundreds of plungers have jumped for many reasons, most of them personal. First time plunger Jenna Gabourie was recognized for raising the most money in the “individual” category, as she contributed $1,226.

Jenna raised money to set up a foundation in the name of a friend who died as the result of a car accident. The foundation is a way for her memory to live on and to help others.

Youth Unlimited was represented again this year and raised the most money in the “group” category with $3,400.

“It is a great cause and the money makes a huge difference in the lives of many of our youth,” said veteran jumper Duncan Freeburn.

First time jumpers Noella Koshul, Janet Kubica, Frank Bencze, Steve Downer, Cindy Mytnek, Alison Kubica Martin and Rosa Martin jumped for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, and took the best costume prize.

More importantly, the funds raised will provide many children (who otherwise may not have the chance) the opportunity to use the YMCA facility.

“The Bel Rotary Club wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, community supporters and of course the ‘Polar Plungers’ who braved the weather and the water on Feb. 2 to make this event a success,” said Susan Davidson.

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