The 7th annual Polar Bear Dip in support of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame took place on frozen Mill Pond on Sunday in Alexandria’s Island Park, as dozens of spectators huddled around the open cut through the ice.
In unseasonably mild conditions of +3 Celsius, as a stiff breeze blew from the west, the brave dippers took their turns plunging into the icy water, two at a time, much to the delight of those assembled.
William Manley and Cameron Poirier led things off, with Poirier opting for the swam dive entry, while Manley decided to go knees first trying for a cannonball splash.
With John Hope serving as emcee, Kyle Lalonde and Johnathon Newton were next to take the plunge. Jacob Cameron and Becky Pieterson followed, both going for a cannonball entry.
Allison Ducette and Laurie Otter Ducette adopted a St. Patrick’s Day theme for their attire, while Maggy Hope and Elsie Edwards went with Highland fling garb.
Red-clad Brooke Lapierre and Ashton MacDonald took the plunge holding hands for support. Michel Diotte and Amanda Hope jumped next, with Diotte looking like he was all ready for summer.
Veteran Cathy MacLean, in her seventh straight event, took the plunge with colourfully-clad Greyson Hope.
Alan Cameron, dressed for the golf course, closed out the plunging along with Rodney Shepherd, the brains behind this annual event.
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The order for plunging for the brave individuals participating in the 2020 Polar Bear Dip in support of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame has been confirmed.
- William Manley & Cameron Poirier
- Cory Hagen & Michel Diotte
- Kyle Lalonde & Johnathon Newton
- Jacob Cameron & Becky Pieterson
- Allison Ducette & Laurie Otter Ducette
- Maggy Hope & Elsie Edwards
- Brooke Lapierre & Ashton MacDonald
- Amanda Hope & Hayley Cholette
- Cathy MacLean & Greyson Hope
- Alan Cameron & Rodney Shepherd
Organizer Rodney Shepherd notes that the event begins promptly at 2 p.m. on Sunday on the frozen Mill Pond at Island Park, in Alexandria.
He adds, “Two things we can’t control on Dip day [are] 1. Mother Nature, 2. Your breathing for 20 seconds after you hit the water.”
As for the Mother Nature part, it looks as if she is giving the participants a helping hand, as the forecast indicates a high of +2 Celsius, with a 40 percent chance of scattered flurries.
To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s a video clip from a few years back.
The slate of brave individuals who are willing to take a frigid plunge into Mill Pond has been announced, though there is still room for more.
The Polar Bear Dip, which supports the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame, is slated for Sunday, February 16 at Island Park in Alexandria, starting at 2 p.m.
Participants committed to date are Alan Cameron, Cathy MacLean, Michel Diotte, Amanda Hope, Hayley Cholette, Jacob Lapierre, Becky Pieterson, Brooke Lapierre, Ashton MacDonald, Cory Hagen, Laurie Ducette, Allison Ducette, Grayson Hope, Maggie Hope, Kyle Lalonde, Johnathon Newton, and Rodney Shepherd.
Shepherd is also the organizer of the event and can be contacted for more information if you are interested in being a dipper this year.
Further details can be found on the event Facebook page. Spectators are invited to stop by and cheer on the participants.