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Innisfil's annual Polar Bear Dip 'isn't just about the thrill'

Organized by Innisfil Community Events (ICE) Corporation volunteers, proceeds from this year’s event will support the local food bank
The 26th annual Polar Bear Dip takes place on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 p.m. (registration opens at 11 a.m.). This photo was taken at last year's event.

Community members are invited to register for $25 to take the plunge at the 26th annual Polar Bear Dip.

Organized by the dedicated volunteers of Innisfil Community Events (ICE) Corporation, the event takes place Feb. 24 at Innisfil Beach Park. Proceeds will support the Innisfil Food Bank.

"Taking the plunge into the icy waters of Lake Simcoe isn't just about the thrill — it's about making a real difference. By signing up to take a dip, you're not only challenging yourself and experiencing an unforgettable adventure, but you're also supporting a worthy cause,” said ICE president Chris Reynolds Jr. “Your participation directly contributes to initiatives that benefit our community, whether it's raising funds for local charities, or fostering a sense of togetherness among participants. So, come join us, embrace the chill, and be a part of something truly meaningful. Sign up today and make a splash for a cause."

Participants of the Polar Bear Dip are encouraged to dress up in family-friendly costumes for the event. 

The first 50 registrants will receive a free t-shirt that reads, I survived the Innisfil Polar Bear Dip, and prizes will be awarded to the person with the best costume and the person or team who raises the most money.

The team at Sunset Speedway raised the most funds last year, and ICE members hope their success encourages others to participate.

“They raised $1,400 last year and hope to raise even more this year," a January post on ICE's Facebook page reads. "Are you up for the challenge to beat them? Your support makes a significant impact, and we're grateful for your commitment to the community."

Event sponsors include the Innisfil Domino's Pizza franchise — which will be giving free pizza to participants and volunteers — and the Tim Horton’s location at 2098 Commerce Park, which will supply free coffee and hot chocolate. Meanwhile, 58 Ford Photography will be taking pictures.

“The Innisfil Food Bank is very, very grateful for all the support we receive from our incredible community," said food bank coordinator Donna Sawyer. “I had a couple message us just the other day and shared that they began doing the Polar Bear Dip specifically because the money collected would come to the (food bank). These are people who are avid supporters of our community.”

“We gave our 1,822 boxes of food last year to people that are experiencing food insecurity and people, like our plungers, help us to do that. Together we can do big things. Last year was a bitterly cold day — I hope this year is a little warmer,” she said.

A sauna will be available for participants, and food trucks will be on site.

Event sponsor, Spring Tree Farm, will make a hole in the ice for the jumpers — if the need arises.

“Due to the unpredictability of warmer winters, we're keeping a close eye on the ice conditions of the lake,” said ICE marketing and public relations director Nadine Singh. “While it's uncertain if the ice will be thick enough for our traditional ice event, rest assured, we're prepared to adapt and ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment. As we monitor the situation closely, we'll make a final decision closer to the event date. Regardless of the ice conditions, we're committed to delivering an unforgettable experience for all participants.”

Registration opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday, while the event gets underway at 1:30 p.m. Non-perishable food items will not be collected.

“ICE is proud to support the Innisfil Food Bank because we believe in the power of giving back to our community; (it) plays a vital role in ensuring that those in need have access to nutritious meals, especially during challenging times,” Reynolds Jr. said. 

Prospective participants and teams can download the 2024 registration and pledge package at

Those wanting to learn more about ICE’s volunteer opportunities can check out its Facebook page or visit its website.

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Amber Green

About the Author: Amber Green

Amber is a freelance journalist with InnisfilToday. Dedicated to the craft of writing, she is a storyteller at heart who writes novels, poetry, and short stories. She lives in Innisfil.
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