Town dips for summer camps
On Saturday, March 6, the Alfond Youth Center will be hosting its 18th annual Polar Bear Dip. The event has been very successful in the past, and all proceeds from the event go toward summer camp scholarships for underprivileged youth in the Waterville area.
The goal of the Polar Bear Dip is to get as many people in the area to sign up to jump in an unheated outdoor pool; each person jumping is encouraged to collect pledge money from his or her friends and families. Local businesses and schools often create teams and turn the event into a competitive fundraiser, with prizes awarded to the team that pledges the most amount of money.
"Colby has never won the event before, but we're hoping that this year is our year," Dana Roberts '12, the Colby Volunteer Center (CVC) coordinator of the College branch of the event, said. "We've been trying hard to get the word out and brainstorming different ideas for getting more pledges. It's a hard event to plan for well in advance simply because it's only a month after JanPlan and not everyone is on campus for that."
The CVC's main goal for this year is to raise more funds than last year. "Last year Colby raised $2,100 for the event, and we hope to raise a lot more this year," Jessica Boyle '12, CVC event coordinator, said.
With the pledged money going toward such a good cause, the CVC has been trying to get as many students as possible to sign up to jump and to pledge money. This year many sports teams have become involved with the jump, including the football, soccer and crew teams. Some CAs have organized the dip as a dorm event, and others are jumping for the CVC and individually as well.
Lauren McCrary '12 is doing the jump with members of the Megalomaniacs. "I really wanted to do it last year, but not on my own. This year I'm jumping with people from the Megs, which makes it a lot less scary. I have called my relatives about pledging for me, and although they are nervous about me jumping into freezing water, they remember their fond memories at summer camp and donated because they believe everyone should have the opportunity to attend."
Although the event is not organized by students on the Hill, it is still a great way to get involved in the Waterville community and help out kids in a simple way. "The Polar Bear Dip is not designed just for Colby, but for all the local businesses and schools in the Waterville area," Roberts said.
"It's a smaller event for Colby in terms of what we organize ourselves, but it's a great chance for us to interact with other businesses in town," Roberts said. "The Volunteer Center is really up on its feet and this is a great event because it's in conjunction with the Waterville community and it's a chance for us to help improve the town."
The event is even offering prizes to lure in additional participants. Any student who collects more than $100 in pledges will automatically be entered in a raffle to win one of several prizes, including tickets to Sugarloaf and gift certificates for local businesses.
You can sign up to jump for the event up until the day it happens. It only costs $20 to enter, although students are encouraged to collect as much extra pledge money as possible.
"People who are jumping need to go out there and get pledges. Last year we had a bunch of people jump, but they didn't do a good job of getting people to pledge for them, so they would do the action but not follow through with the money, which is what the dip is really all about," Roberts said.
For students interested in pledging money but not participating in the actual dip, email email@example.com and tell them how much you would like to pledge.