By Roman Hayter
The event, which first began in 2018, focuses on volunteers taking a cold plunge into Pinehouse Lake to support a number of different charitable causes.
Martine Smith, the event’s organizer, said that in the beginning, the money raised from the event would go towards the youth. “We started in 2018, and we were blessed with seven plungers to begin with. All of the money raised went to youth initiatives and youth cultural camps that we set up every year,” said Smith. “Then we hit COVID of course, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. We skipped two years of the polar bear plunge and went into the third-year last year. We partnered up with Denison Mining Corp. last year and they did a matching grant of $2,500, and we managed to raise $6,810; half of that went to cancer patients that have travel needs because we’re five hours away from our treatment centre, so $3,405 went to them, and $3,405 went to our youth, so we hosted a camp for them in October of last year; it was a hunting camp.”
She said that for this year’s event, Denison Mining Corp. will match donations to $5000. “Denison Mining Corp. has reached out to us and they are going to do a matching grant of $5,000 this year, and so they have four representatives coming up to participate in the jump, so they sent out an email and challenged other companies; our Pinehouse Business North is an economic development; they employ our community members, and so they are sending four representatives as well,” Smith explained.
Half of the fundraising gathered in this year’s event will go towards the community’s emergency fund, which will be handed out to cancer patients who need the money for travel, while the other half will go towards more youth initiatives. The Polar Bear Plunge at Pinehouse Lake will take place on April 1 at 1 p.m., and those who wish to make a donation or sign up for the plunge can contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.