Taking a dip for charity
Old Perlican firefighters raise funds for Ronald McDonald House
Ask Jody Barnes what it’s like to dive into the Atlantic Ocean wearing only a pair of shorts in January and you won’t get a complicated answer.
“It was very cold,” Barnes said last week.
But it was for a good cause, and Barnes said he would do it again.
Eight members of the Old Perlican Volunteer Fire Department boldly jumped into the ocean on Jan. 2. They splashed around for less than 30 seconds, but managed to raise some $2,500 in the process.
The money is being split between the fire department and the new Ronald McDonald House, which is being constructed in St. John’s. The house will offer sick children and their families a home-away-from-home for a nominal fee when receiving medical treatment at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre.
“ We had an overwhelming response from the community,” said Barnes, one of the organizers of the Polar Bear Dip. Barnes said most of the money was raised through pledges from private citizens.
“As soon as they realized what the
Participants had their slogan, “Freezin’ 4 A Reason,” painted on their backs.
money was for, many people doubled their pledges,” Barnes added.
The slogan for the event was “Freezin’ 4A Reason,” which was painted onto the bare backs of the participants.
Hundreds of people gathered at the boat launch to witness the spectacle.
The skies were overcast, with temperatures between 1 and 2 C.
“ The salt water can numb you in the summer, so yes, it was overwhelming,” said Barnes.
Former Old Perlican resident April Beckett, the only female daring enough to take the plunge, joined the firefighters in the water.
“ We thank April for her support,” said Barnes.
Barnes said there are plans to make the dip an annual event.
With great enthusiasm, participants in a polar bear dip in Old Perlican entered the water on Jan. 2.
Taking part in the “ Freezin 4 A Reason” dip in Old Perlican on Jan. 2 were, from left, Brad Hopkins, Curtis Squires, Roger Burt, Jody Barnes, Jason Doyle, fire chief Colin Kelly, Michael Squires, Rodney Burt and April Beckett.
Several hundred people came along to witness the bitter spectacle on Jan. 2 in Old Perlican.
The participants exited the water after about 30 seconds, and raced to cover up in a towel or blanket.