Courage Polar Bear Dip achieves fundraising target of $120,000 for World Vision's clean water projects. Photo: Alison Ralph
Hundreds of brave thrill-seekers raised a toast to the New Year with a splash into the near-freezing waters of Lake Ontario as they participated in the Courage Polar Bear Dip for World Vision, at Coronation Park in Oakville, Ontario.
Over 700 dippers charged into the near-freezing waters to celebrate the new year and raise funds for World Vision's clean water projects in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"World Vision is thrilled the Courage Brothers' annual polar bear dip has raised over $1.8 million for clean water projects. It's been an incredible New Year's tradition for 34 years - what an adventurous way to ring in 2019," said Michael Messenger, World Vision Canada President and CEO.
The temperate weather brought out creative costumes such as candy canes and penguins and many first-time dippers, some from as far away as Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba.
"The energy down at the Park was fantastic. Each year, families, friends and communities come together to give back to others in a gesture that truly signifies the true message of the season," said Todd Courage, one of the founders of the dip.
World Vision is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, providing a new person with clean water every 10 seconds. World Vision's clean water initiatives have helped save the lives of thousands of children from water-related diseases caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.
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- The Courage Polar Bear Dip for World Vision is the longest running and largest charity event of its kind
- Since 1995, the dip has raised more than $1.8 million for World Vision's clean water initiatives across the world