BY KALI CAUDLE
They stood there in the snow, their feet bare, shivering despite the towels wrapped around them.
On March 5, 15 participants made a splash at the Polar Plunge at Conestoga College’s Doon campus. The event, held by Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI), has been taking place at the college for more than 30 years.
The Polar Plunge gives Conestoga students, faculty and staff the opportunity to raise money and support local organizations while having a good time. CSI chose to donate the proceeds from the event this year to Ray of Hope, an organization that provides care and hope for those struggling with crime, addiction or homelessness in Waterloo Region.
The 15 jumpers waited in anticipation while the opening speeches took place. The crowd then cheered as each participant jumped, flipped or splashed into a pool. The temperature was -13 C, but it felt like -22 C with the wind chill. The pool’s water temperature was 1.7 C with ice forming on the surface.
With no personal connection to Ray of Hope, the participants’ hearts were in the right place.
“I’m just jumping in general because I’m all about good causes,” said Victoria Amorim, a first-year office administration executive student. “I’ve always done things for good causes and raised money for them.”
Some participants got involved to set an example for other Conestoga students.
“I’m jumping for the cause and I’m part of CSI so I’m trying to be involved as much as possible. Lead by example,” said Barra Elbaf, a business administration student.
While it’s a fun event for students it is also an important cause.
Amorim thinks that more people should get involved for this annual event.
“I think it’s good. I think more people need to support stuff like this in general. It’s good that the college is supportive,” she said.
The event received $652 in cash donations. CSI has yet to calculate the online contributions to determine the total amount raised.