By STACY MILLBERG - For the Star Beacon
ROAMING SHORES —
Freezing temperatures won’t stop a number of people from taking a little dip in Lake Roaming Rock all in the name of a good cause.
The Roaming Shores Polar Bear Club is gearing up for its annual Polar Bear Plunge. This year’s event will be held March 9 at the clubhouse and main beach. This is the club’s eighth year hosting the fundraising event, said Gayle Zirkle, vice president of the club.
“Shawn Morris and a few other guys started the event and it has just grown and grown and grown,” she said.
Morris, club president, said the event was born after Chris Plickard and Jeff Meddock participated in the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge held in Geneva every year. Plickard and Meddock decided to start an event in Roaming Shores that would benefit local students. Meddock, who was a resident of Roaming Shores and member of the Polar Bear Club for a few years, died back in 2008. After Meddock’s death, the club began donating a portion of its event proceeds to the memorial scholarship fund in Meddock’s name, Morris said.
“Our focus is to support students in the southern part of the county,” he said. “Especially in these tough economic times.”
Last year’s event played host to about 100 jumpers, she said. The event is open to the public as far as participants and spectators.
“Anyone can come and participate,” Zirkle said. “Each jumper has to raise $50 on their own.”
Last year the event raised more than $6,000 which was donated to several local charities. Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to the Jeff Meddock Memorial Scholarship Fund, Jefferson Area Schools Falcon Academic Boosters, the Breakfast with Santa event the club hosts each year, the Conversation Station in Orwell, and Grand Valley Schools.
Each participant will receive a free T-shirt for the event. There will also be a 50/50 raffle the day of the event. Tickets will be on sale that day, she said.
All participants will need to sign a waiver to participate and minors will need parental consent. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. and continue through 2:45 p.m. The jump will take place at 3 p.m. DJ entertainment will also begin at 1 p.m.
Hot dogs, popcorn and soda will be for sale at the event. Participants are urged to wear shoes or aqua socks, have warm dry clothes available for after the jump, and have a large beach towel and to bring a robe to keep warm.
A photographer from Creative Eye Designs will also be on hand at this year’s event photographing the excitement. The photographer will be taking photos of each participant as they are in the water. Participants will be able to purchase photos. Prices will be $12 for an 8x10 or $20 an 8x10, a photo keychain and a photo magnet. A portion of every sale goes to the Polar Bear Club.
Participants can visit the Web site www.creativeeyedesigns after the event to view their photos and place orders Online.
Sponsors for this year’s event include Posh Plumbing, which will be featured on the sleeve of the event T-shirts; Rock Point Marina; Hooks Towing; Cantini’s Market; Smolic Tire; Route 20 Auto Essentials; Perma-Gro Landscaping; Orwell Dairy Queen; C&L Lawn Service; Ray Chiropractic; Crandall Connection; Andover Sparkle; Colebrook Lounge; The Bar at Rock Creek Country Store; Paradise Bay; Hunter’s Inn; Auburn Fence; NEO Electrical Supplu and Lighting; Chicago Title; Spin’N DJ Services; FASCO Machine Products; and D&S Automotive.
This year’s sponsors will be listed on the back of the T-shirts.
Anyone interested in participating in this year’s event can visit www.roamingshores.org to download a registration form.