Dippers to take the plunge for charity

John Bursey Jr coming out of the Ocean
Contributed photo
John Bursey Jr coming out of the Ocean
The wet suits emergency team.
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The wet suits emergency team.
Contributed photo
Contributed photo
John Bursey Jr is coming out from his final dip
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John Bursey Jr is coming out from his final dip
John Bursey Jr going in for his second dip in the ocean
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John Bursey Jr going in for his second dip in the ocean
John Bursey Jr coming out from his first dip in the ocean
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John Bursey Jr coming out from his first dip in the ocean
Northern Maine Community College Class group picture
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Northern Maine Community College Class group picture
John Bursey Jr is ready for the second dip in the ocean
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John Bursey Jr is ready for the second dip in the ocean
Where's the towel?
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Where's the towel?
John Bursey Jr first dip in the ocean
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John Bursey Jr first dip in the ocean
John Bursey running in the icy cold ocean.
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John Bursey running in the icy cold ocean.
Contributed photo
Posted Jan. 05, 2011, at 12:26 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 08, 2011, at 11:52 p.m.

PLEASANT POINT, Maine — The 11th annual Polar Bear Dip — when hundreds of otherwise sensible people run into the Atlantic Ocean on a winter afternoon — has been scheduled for noon Friday, Feb. 4, at Pleasant Point Pier.

Organizers are encouraging participants to gather in teams or seek individual sponsors, as all proceeds will benefit the Bangor Ronald McDonald House.

Last year, more than $10,000 was raised by dippers who rushed into — and then just as quickly rushed out of — the water, braving a ferocious wind and air temperatures that hovered around 32 degrees.

The annual event is sponsored by Washington County Community College and held on Pessikapskiyak Road at Pleasant Point Pier. The theme of the dip this year, which is being dedicated to U.S. military service personnel, is “Support Our Troops.”

Tess Ftorek of Eastport started the event 10 years ago at the suggestion of a hiking club that she guided while an instructor at the community college.

“The first year we raised $1,600 and it was held at Gleason’s Cove,” she said. “It has really taken off and created such a sense of community between the college and the Passamaquoddy reservation.”

For more information about the dip, contact Donielle Fields or Karen Gookin at WCCC at 454-1054.

Located at 654 State St. in Bangor, the Ronald McDonald House is a 14-bedroom home away from home for approximately 450 families of ill children receiving medical treatment each year. Founded in 1983, the house helps people in Maine with comfortable short-term residential accommodations during their medical crisis. In addition, the Bangor Ronald McDonald House Extensions Program provides services beyond housing to families whose loved one is being treated for cancer or blood disorders.

For more information, call 942-9003 or visit www.ronaldmcdonaldhousebangor.org.

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