More than $7,100 was raised on Jan 26 at the annual Polar Bear Jump Auction held at Milford Central School. This is just a portion of the funds that will be donated to seven local, terminally ill children this year.
Jamie Waters, who organizes the annual fundraiser with his wife, Brenda, said more than 250 people have signed up to make the jump at the 19th Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump on Feb. 15. Waters said there were more than 400 jumpers last year, and he expects a similar number this year.
Waters said there was a “great turnout” at the auction, with more than 250 people showing up to take part. The auction’s proceeds, along with funds raised by jumpers, will go toward seven local children with terminal illnesses, as well as a local woman suffering from autoimmune disease, Catskill Area Hospice, the Milford Fire Department, and the Portlandville Methodist Church. Waters said several past recipients and some from this year were at the auction.
One of the children benefiting from this year’s Polar Bear Plunge is Myles Magnan, a 3-year-old who lives with his mom, Lisa Magnan, in Bloomville. According to the event website, before Myles was born, it was discovered that he had hydrocephalus, meaning the fluid in his brain was not properly draining. Because of this condition, the anatomy of Myles’ brain was altered, and he was diagnosed with a partial deletion of chromosome six. Magnan said Myles has bravely soldiered through numerous surgeries, seizures, extended hospital stays and continuous struggles with his mobility and communication.
“We were so overwhelmed to find out Myles was a recipient,” Magnan said. “We feel totally blessed. What an awesome way to pay it forward.”
Magnan said the money received from the Polar Bear Plunge will go in Myles’ savings account, and be set aside for any of his future health needs. Myles is due for new braces, Magnan said, and he may need a special car seat or walker in the future. She said the funds will go toward these and other health expenses.