BY SHARON SAMUEL
Is there any better way to contribute to a charity than jumping into cold water on a cold day?
Conestoga Students Inc. hosted the 36th annual Polar Plunge on Feb. 17 outside the Doon campus cafeteria. The initiative raises money each year for a charity.
“Every year all the proceeds that are raised from our polar plungers, the people who are participating, go to a charity that we pick,” said Cameron Jones, president of CSI. “This year we are doing Nutrition for Learning, which is great. It’s in Waterloo.”
CSI was hoping the 2017 event would raise $2,500, but they far exceeded that amount, with plungers bringing in approximately $15,000. Participants raised the money by asking people to sponsor them, and in turn, promised to jump into a pool of frigid water, some in costume.
“It’s just up to them, to raise as much as they can,” Jones said. “I mean, if they want to give $5 or $10 it’s fine. That’s amazing and it’s still a great contribution.”
The costumes vary every year and come from the participants’ own creativity, he said.
“You can be anything that you want. You can be in your regular clothes or you can be wearing something that you wear to class,” he said. “Whatever you want, it doesn’t matter, it can even be Queen Elsa from Frozen.”
Local TV and radio stations covered the event and CTV reporter Lyndsay Morrison and 107.5 Dave Rocks on-air personalities Jessie David and Darryl Law participated in the plunge.
“It’s good to have her and other local celebrities coming in and wrapping the event,” said Jones.
Kimberly Carlon, a first-year environmental engineering applications student at Conestoga College’s Cambridge campus, took the plunge. She is also an event staff member at CSI and said she was terrified of how cold the water was going to be. After her jump, she said the day was beautiful and it wasn’t that bad.
“The jump was very cold and I cheated a little bit. I dipped my toe in, which did not prepare me at all,” said Carlon. “But, overall, it’s for a good cause, so I can’t complain.”