September 26, 2020

BY BRAD COUGHLIN
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An enthusiastic crowd conceals the performer’s presumed lackluster. Bare feet crunch the snow, an Eskimo’s taboo, rhythmic like the booming music rocking the tiny glacial pool. With every soaring body turning wading pool water into waves, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada plunges one step closer to the cure.
“Cold water doesn’t bother me that much so it’s not a big deal,” said Drew Campbell, a broadcast radio student. “We’re raising money and awareness for breast cancer research which is always a good thing.”
Conestoga Students Inc. hosted the annual Polar Plunge on Feb. 28, raising approximately $6,000 for breast cancer research. But students jumped, flung and forced themselves off the same wobbling ladder for different reasons.
“A lot of people in my family have been diagnosed with beast cancer,” said Haela Vonhatten-daer, a student in the social service worker program who took the leap in a wedding dress. “I haven’t experienced breast cancer myself, but I can do what I can to support them.”
While some students participated for friends and family, others raised money for the mere experience.
“It’s my last semester and I wanted to do something memorable before I graduated,” said Stephanie Blaskecikth, an early childhood education student who raised $40.
But the bone-chilling dive wasn’t unprepared for.
“I’ve been swimming up in Georgia Bay,” said Campbell. “The cold water should be OK for me.”
Other polar plungers’ preparations were a little less conventional.
“I’ve jumped into the river in November so this should be nothing,” said Vonhatten-Daer.
The most memorable performers donned wacky, superhero-like costumes to brave the dip.
“(My costume’s) circa Michael Phelps with about 40 pounds of extra padding in the stomach area,” Campbell said.
Joe Berry, a social services student, said, “I figured I had chest hair so I might as well shave a ribbon into it.”
Would they do it again?
“It was fun, I would do it three more times in a row,” said Blaskecikth.