ROTARY ROUNDUP: Rotary-hosted polar bear swim always popular

2017 promises to be another amazing year of Rotary service in the community, writes Brenda Gibson

  • Jan. 27, 2017 2:00 p.m.

by Brenda Gibson

Canada’s 150th year dawned to see hundreds of brave souls thumbing their noses at Old Man Winter and taking the plunge into the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The five local Rotary clubs hosted the 47th annual Rotary White Rock Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1 that saw 338 people, aged four to 82, register to take their new year’s dip off White Rock beach.

As far as the eye could see, thousands lined Marine Drive, the promenade, the beach and the pier, lending moral support and preserving the excitement with photos and live video for those deterred by the day’s unusual snow and cold. After a dump of snow the night before, the -1 C briskness of the morning was warmed by a partly sunny sky – and even more-so by the enthusiasm of the more than 2,000 participants and onlookers, including more than 60 volunteers who made the event possible.

All five Rotary clubs worked with the other organizing partners, including the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 5 Crescent Beach, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors and the City of White Rock, to make this annual community event a resounding success.

St. John Ambulance was onsite to assist with first aid, Minuteman Press printed the posters and certificates and Sources sold hot dogs and drinks.

For the first time in event history, a limited number of “I Took the Plunge” T-shirts were available for purchase. Search-and-rescue supplied many volunteers and resources, including a warming tent, Rocky the polar bear, Frosty and Flurry the Yetis, two rescue boats on the water, a stage and PA system. Everyone especially loved the three fluffy mascots, jumping at the chance to pose for photos.

The festivities included the return of some “Polar Plunge Royalty Alumni,” namely Polar Bear co-founder Denise Stevenson who acted as grand marshall for the event, with a visit from another founding alumni, Crystal Loewan.

A big thank you to the many hardworking groups and dedicated individuals who participated to make the event another fun-tastic success, including the wildly generous “polar dipper” who spontaneously appeared to donate two Canucks tickets to the grand prize!

The five Rotary clubs look forward to their continued partnership with the other partners in hosting this event in the future.

In addition to sponsoring the Polar Bear Swim, the clubs kept their December calendars bursting with countless other noteworthy events. Here’s what the White Rock club was up to:

Every Saturday of the month saw one or more members of the club promoting community generosity as they manned the Salvation Army kettles at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre; at their mid-month lunch meeting, eight to 10 Paul Harris Fellow awards were presented, honouring those members who have donated $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation. And if all that wasn’t enough, a group from the club attended a Christmas carol sing-along with the residents of Rosemary Heights Seniors’ Village.

With so much generosity, enthusiasm and forbearance (of the weather at least), 2017 promises to be another amazing year of Rotary service in the community and around the globe.

Brenda Gibson writes on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs. brenda_gibson@shaw.ca

 

Just Posted

Surrey Historical Society holds ‘memory social’ Sunday

Gathering will be a chance to offer, share stories

Khan Michael Bourne, of Sechelt, shot dead in Surrey

Police say Bourne was found laying on the ground, with gunshot wounds

Drowning victim fondly remembered

Immigration consultant Jay Atienza Razon, who worked out of Newton, drowned in a kayaking accident March 29

Sisters, sexual abuse and one Surrey family’s bond in new movie ‘Because We Are Girls’

Cloverdale’s Jeeti Pooni led effort to create the documentary, set to debut at festivals

Semiahmoo Totems past and present celebrate basketball success

Reigning provincial senior girls hoops champs meet members of school’s 1953 championship team

VIDEO: Gray whale spotted near White Rock Pier

Photos and video show animal diving in Semiahmoo Bay

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read

l -->