DEDHAM, Maine — Those preparing to take the plunge are raising funds to sponsor their unthinkable bravery. On Saturday, Feb. 9, on Phillips Lake in Dedham — home of Camp CaPella — these courageous volunteers will jump into icy cold waters in Phillips Lake to show their wild bravado in order to raise funds for Camp Sunshine and Camp CaPella at the annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Dip.
Local news media may get a volunteer from their organization to help raise funds and take the “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Dip themselves. This can be your story too, and we will help to promote your volunteer’s brave contribution. Reporters and spectators will nonetheless not be required to dip.
Would-be participants are encouraged to raise at least $100 from sponsors. All contributions from plungers, visitors and sponsors will be donated either to Camp Sunshine (for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families) or Camp CaPella (for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities).
Before and after jumping into the freezing water, polar plungers may lounge around in a hot tub in order to regain their sanity within a few seconds. The Dedham Fire Department Cold Water Rescue Team will be onsite and ready to respond if needed. Hot drinks and snacks will be available to plungers for free and to spectators by donations.
Joe Dowling, a volunteer at Camp Sunshine, member of the fundraising committee for Camp CaPella and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Hamden that sponsors this event, will once more dare to dive in the “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Dip this year, as he has for many years in the past.
“Camp Sunshine has been coordinating these polar dips in various locations for many years,” recalls Dowling. “Camp CaPella is the perfect place for the polar dip into freezing Phillips Lake. But because a bunch of us will jump into the freezing cold water, many more folks will make donations to one of these camps,” Dowling explains. “It’s crazy fun, but donations will help children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses have fun at camp.”
“The reality of this event is that the discomfort the plungers feel for just a moment will never compare to what our families go through during the course of their child’s illness,” adds Michael Smith, director of special events for Camp Sunshine. “We are so grateful to everyone who participates in this Polar Dip, as they are most definitely ‘Freezin’ for a Reason.’”
Dana Mosher, executive director of Camp CaPella which hosts the event, notes, “This is a fun event for both plungers and spectators. We’ll have hot food and drinks for everyone with lots of laughter and cheering for the courageous plungers. It’s just an all-round fun place to be on February 9th.”
Registration will begin at noon, with plunges beginning at 1 p.m. All parking (except for handicapped people and reporters) will be at the Lucerne Inn and Dedham School with shuttle buses running back and forth starting at 11:30 a.m.
To start raising funds for Camp Sunshine, form or join a team, and donate online, one can visit http://www.crowdrise.com/BangorPolarDip. To begin the process for Camp CaPella, one can visit http://campcapella.org/2013-polar-plunge-3/.
Camp Sunshine offers children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a place to relax together for a week, and to take a break from the extraordinary demands placed upon them on a daily basis. The year-round program is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by volunteers. It is the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family – the ill child, the parents and the siblings. Since its inception in 1984, Camp Sunshine has provided a haven for more than 32,000 individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition to providing 24-hour on-site medical and psychosocial support, the camp offers a variety of daily activities, including swimming, boating, archery and soccer, and special events such as bonfires and cookouts; and also hosts fall and winter programs. To support Camp Sunshine, call (207) 655-3800 or visit www.campsunshine.org.
Located on Phillips lake in Dedham, or Lucerne-in-Maine (12 miles from Bangor, 13 miles from Ellsworth), Camp CaPella (www.campcapella.org) provides quality-of-life experiences for people with disabilities and their families.