Posted by PDG Susan Davidson on Mar 29, 2023

The 43rd annual BEL (Bridgenorth-Ennismore-Lakefield) Rotary Polar Plunge in is the books and what a huge success it was! After two years of the virtual plunge, jumpers were able to gather in person and brave the frigid waters of Chemong Lake. More than 100 jumpers took to the water and raised in excess of 50,000!

“The plunge went off like clockwork thanks to the tremendous work of the volunteers and community supporters and of course the intrepid plungers, said co-chair Tony Davidson, “It is truly a community event and it is the efforts of everyone concerned that makes it such a success”.
Money raised from the plunge is divided between the charity of the plunger’s choice and BEL Rotary. Local programs of the BEL Club include sponsorship of the annual “Adopt a Family” festive season program, support of Chemong Community Care, food sustainability, support for local schools and the development and maintenance of Rotary Park in Ennismore and BEL Rotary Bridgenorth Trail. Internationally the club supports the refurbishing of schools in Nepal, clean water in Cambodia and the world wide eradication of polio.
Jana Lee Murray raised $3485, the most by an individual. In her words “The last couple of years my Mom, has fought the battle of her life. She has fought colorectal cancer and leukaemia like a champ and could not have done it without the incredible support of our family and friends, including the BEL Rotarians. What better way could there be to say thank you then a polar dip in Chemong Lake to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society and the B.E.L. Rotary Club!!!” 
The plunge took on an international twist. Rotary Exchange Students Elise (Belgium), Lara (Switzerland), Aneta (Czech Republic), Josefine and Gertrud (Denmark), Venla (Finland) and Felix (France) joined the fun. There is nothing like a dip in February to say you have truly experienced life in Canada!  The team led by Youth Exchange chair Wayne Harding chair of the District Youth Exchange program raised $5485, (the most money by a team) toward polio eradication. 
The KISS Plungers from Savage Arms were recognized with the best costume. Not only did they look amazing but they raised $2370 for Five Counties Children’s Centre. Congratulations to plungers Kyra Jackson, Cole Iwanitsky, Cassie Knight, Jenne Lyons, Arron Mcchesney, Mika Noonan and Greg Parris. 
The Rotary Club of Bridgenorth Ennismore Lakefield 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 5th to make this event a success. Our community is the true benefactor!