Jan. 1, 2013
/CNW/ - Eight-hundred Canadians of all ages kicked off the New Year by running into the cold water of
at the Courage Polar Bear Dip in
. The temperature was -6 degrees, colder with the wind chill, and swimmers braved frigid water only slightly above freezing.
"I decided to do the dip to raise money for World Vision and I had a friend who did it last year who had a lot of fun," says
, 16, of
. "I think it'll be rewarding and it's a great way to start the New Year!"
This family event attracted 'dippers' from four to 74, many of whom came dressed in costumes ranging from swamp monsters to Santa.
councillors took the plunge along with members of the Toronto Rock Blaine Manning and
This year the dippers raised more than
helping the dip pass a major milestone to become
first million-dollar dip for charity. It has now raised more than
for clean water projects since teaming up with World Vision in 1995.
a few years ago and observing the tremendous need for clean water, and then seeing the difference in communities where donations to World Vision are at work, I am beyond ecstatic," says
. "This isn't just
, it means the building of borehole wells, improved sanitation facilities, teaching of proper hygiene and sanitation practices and the planting of vegetable and fruit trees that will protect the environment and provide income to maintain the new wells."
It is also the first year the dip went international - with long-time dipper
organizing a sister dip in
World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.