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February 14, 2013

Polar Bear Jump is a leap of love

(Continued)

Last year’s event featured about 275 jumpers and seven or eight teams. Brenda said there are more than 300 participants signed up to jump into the icy-cold water on Saturday. However, she said not everyone always shows up and participation is often determined by weather. 

“A lot of them are repeat jumpers or are in a group that knows what to expect and what to do so it should go fairly quick and easy,” she said. 

The event has never been canceled — not even a couple of years ago when it was wicked cold with whipping wind — probably the coldest day in which the event has been held. 

“I woke up in the middle of the night and I said, ‘Hey Jamie, we need to cancel.’ He was like ‘we can’t, it’s an outdoorsy, winter event,’” Brenda said. “It was insane!” 

Brenda said a lot of people called to apologize for not making it and wanted to know how they could still turn in their sponsor money.   

“Some people were even delayed by hours because the roads were shut down,” she said. “If it is a time like that then you are not going to get all of your jumpers. But if it is a beautiful day, then everybody will show up. It is hard to say.”

Last year, Danielle Cruz jumped with 10 girls who play basketball in Sidney. It was her first time participating and she said: “I decided to do this for the charity part, to raise money. Freezing was not part of the plan of making me want to do it.”

Cruz said she did not know any of the recipients, but felt good about doing something food for others. 

According to Brenda, once someone commits to taking the plunge, he or she typically usually comes back to do it again. 

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