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Yarmouth Polar Bear Dip to splash in 2018

Polar Bear dippers in Yarmouth will be racing into Lake Milo on New Year’s Day at noon.
Polar Bear dippers in Yarmouth will be racing into Lake Milo on New Year’s Day at noon. - Carla Allen

New Year’s Day tradition raises thousands for fire department

YARMOUTH -  Polar Bear dippers will be plunging into Lake Milo, in what will likely be sub-zero weather, on New Year’s Day.

It doesn’t matter how cold it will be, the dedicated group will still participate in the annual fundraising event for the Yarmouth Fire Department.

Dedicated Polar Bear dipper Alec Pitt says he always hopes for a larger turnout than the year before but admits the weather does play a large role in attendance.

“There was one year when it was blowing over Lake Milo and the ice had to be cut with the chainsaw. We had three people,” he said. 

Firefighter Stewart Deveau says the Polar Bear Dip is an important fundraiser for the department.

“In the past we were able to utilize our hall upstairs for fundraising events,” he said.

The largest functions were catered weddings and Christmas parties. However, with the closure of the hall a number of years ago, the department’s fundraising abilities, for the most part, ceased.

Since then, the annual Polar Bear Dip has become the department’s largest fundraiser.

“Monies raised allow us to give back to the community by holding events such as the annual South End Children’s Christmas Party and the Tri-County Firefighters Family Fun Day,” said Deveau.

Extra funds also allow the department to purchase smaller essential items that would not normally be included in the department’s budget with the town.

“If not for this dedicated, brave, and yes crazy, group, our ability to do the above would certainly not be there. For this we gratefully thank them and all who support them,” said Deveau.

Since 2007, participants have raised in excess of $15,000 for the department.

To participate

Registration forms can be picked up at Boston Pizza, at 134 Starrs Rd. If you decide to take part at the last minute, you can register at the Lake Milo boat club starting at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Although dippers won’t be entering the water till noon, they are asked to be on site by 11:30 a.m. Each dipper is requested to bring a spotter. Those wishing to donate money can contact the restaurant (902-742-5697) to support a dipper.

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