The Polar Bear Icebreaker event held at Lucien Lake on May 4 turned out to be more than just a chilly plunge; it set records and warmed hearts as the community rallied together for a good cause. Patty Heath, the Fundraising Coordinator with Bethany Pioneer Village, shared the astounding success of their inaugural fundraising event. 

"Our goal was about $10,000, being the first time we weren't really sure what to expect, but we blew that out of the water. We did just over $29,000."

The turnout was equally impressive, with 39 brave souls taking on the polar bear challenge, surpassing initial expectations.  

"The community came out, and we had so many spectators. Our Silver Willow Room was full afterward for the chili dinner. It was a fantastic day all around."

One of the event's highlights was that the funds raised were enough to purchase a new bathing tub, a much-needed addition for Bethany Pioneer Village.  

“Our bathing tub costs $27,000 plus tax, so we have enough to buy one new tub. It's a start."

The success of the event wouldn't have been possible without the support of local businesses and individuals. Heath extended her thanks to contributors like Kirsch Construction, Humboldt Co-op, Sunchild Creations, Stormy's Concession, Brenda Short, Riley and Amanda Brockman, and Wayne Rennick for their invaluable support. 

The Polar Bear Icebreaker event also saw participants competing for prizes, with top sponsors, youth fundraisers, and best-dressed attendees receiving recognition and rewards.  

"It was a great day with gift cards, T-shirts, and mugs as prizes. The enthusiasm and creativity of the participants were truly inspiring."  

Looking ahead, Heath confirmed that the Polar Bear Icebreaker event would become an annual tradition.  

"Next year, on May 3rd, 2025, look for it. We will be doing it again for sure."