The 17th annual Polar Bear Dip netted $10,554 as a direct result of donations contributed in support of participants and Sarah’s House and the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, two causes that are near and dear to the hearts of the Downeast community. The dip, sponsored by the Student Senate of Washington County Community College, was held on March 3rd at Split Rock, Pleasant Point.
The warm weather that had graced much of February left as quickly as it arrived, leaving brave dippers to face temperatures in the single digits and winds of up to 25 mph. The sun came out to shine brightly over the huddled masses of dippers, most of whom were glamorously adorned to meet this year’s theme of “Glitter and Gold”.
The dip originally began as a dare amongst students, staff and faculty at WCCC, but it quickly became a major fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor. The Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for parents whose children are being seen at the nearby hospital rather than forcing them to drive several hours each day. In recent years, the funds have been split with Sarah’s House in Holden, a home for patients undergoing cancer treatments and their families to stay at when needed. Since the dips were first held, close to $320,000 has been raised from contributors, many of whom are in Washington County. Some dippers and donors come from outside the county, including Northern Maine Community College, which has been present at the past few events.
At least one dipper has been present at every single dip – Tess Ftorek is among the top fundraisers consistently, every single year. “I am so committed to this event wild horses couldn’t keep me away,” she expressed. “I am so very proud that the WCCC Student Senate has continued to support this great cause.”
Among the largest fundraisers this year was Team LEO, composed of officers from the US Customs and Border Protection. The team raised a staggering $4,317, all of which will go to Sarah’s House and the Ronald McDonald House.
All in all, this year’s dip will join its predecessors as a grand success, and many are already looking forward to next year. A representative from Sarah’s House replied, “Thank you WCCC for another great event!”
The WCCC Student Senate wishes to take all donors and participants along with volunteers and contributors that helped to create a safe, fun event. Special thanks to the Passamaquoddy tribe for the use of land and standby ambulance service.