John Douglas and his Polar Bear Swim crew won’t be going on a three-hour tour

Polar Bear Swim: take a chilly dip

The third annual PEAK Polar Bear Swim kicks off at Canal Beach on Jan. 1.

Polar Bear Swims to ring in the new year take place across the globe annually, and Port Alberni is no different, drawing hundreds of swimmers and spectators to Canal Beach for a jump into the freezing water.

The PEAK 93.3 will be hosting its third annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day, at 1 p.m. at Canal Beach.

“One o’clock is when everyone rushes in there,” said PEAK operations manager David Wiwichar.

Organizer John Douglas says that the emphasis this year will be on team entries. “That’s expanded a little bit,” he said. His own team will be going with a “Gilligan’s Island” theme. The Bread of Life and Kinsmen Club will also be organizing their own teams, and there will be prizes for the best group, best costume, and oldest swimmer.

“We pushed back the time a little this year to accommodate the late risers after New Year’s Eve,” said Douglas. “We’re also jokingly suggesting that it might be a bit warmer.”

The theme, says Douglas, is warming up with your community.

The swim is collaborating a little more with local fundraising this year. Bread of Life has teamed up with the See Group of Companies, who will be paying a twoonie for everyone who goes into the water, and is also negotiating with other sponsors.

Port Alberni Shelter Society’s Raising the Roof winter wear will also be sold on site, with 50 percent of all funds going to affordable housing programs in the Valley, and the other half going to national programs.

Food will be available from the concession provided by the Kiwanis Club, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate and hotdogs. The funds will be going to a future special project for the beach itself.

“It’s a really great event to celebrate the community, celebrate New Year’s and support local causes,” said Douglas. “There’s a little more every year.”

The Port Alberni Fire Department will be coordinating safety. Ambulance and fire services, as well as the coast guard auxiliary, will be on site to assist if the need arises.

The Alberni Valley amateur radio group will be coordinating parking, including a spot at the bottom for people with disabilities. People are encouraged to arrive early. “It gets bigger every year,” he said.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

 

 

Just Posted

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

BCHL: Bulldogs announce the departure of head coach Matt Hughes

Hughes led the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for two seasons

Man charged after knife waved at 7-Eleven store clerk

Port Alberni’s Jared Dallen Stein charged after consecutive robberies

New scholarship at Pacific Coast University boosts disability retraining

BY MIKE YOUDS SPECIAL TO THE NEWS A new scholarship provides a… Continue reading

Applications open for bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students are eligible to apply

Port Alberni Fire Department engages Indigenous youth in fire awareness

Workshop took place as part of Gathering Our Voices event in Port Alberni

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read