Arrival of winter marks the official countdown to the 2014 Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville

Video: Brave participants dare to dip their hands in a bucket of freezing water

Oakville's "Courage" the polar bear congratulates participants of the freeze test (CNW Group/The Courage Polar Bear Dip)

Father and daughter share a chilly moment during the Courage Polar Bear Dip freeze test  (CNW Group/The Courage Polar Bear Dip)

TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - "Courage" the Polar Bear mascot was spotted lumbering around downtown Toronto today marking the winter solstice, amidst freezing rain and slushy sidewalks. He challenged crowds of GTAers to a daring freeze test. Brave participants plunged their hands into buckets of freezing ice water, simulating what it's like for hundreds of dippers who attend the Courage Polar Bear Dip on New Year's Day at Coronation Park in Oakville every year.

The Courage Polar Bear Dip is the largest charitable dip in Canada and every New Year's Day for the past 29 years, philanthropists Todd and Trent Courage along with family, friends and hundreds of costume-clad revelers brave frigid Lake Ontario waters for a great cause.  Last year 800 dippers and thousands of spectators helped pass the $1 million mark of total funds raised for clean water projects through World Vision in the form of borehole wells, improved sanitation facilities and proper hygiene education for communities in Rwanda.

Quick facts:

  • The first dip took place in 1985 as a dare between Gaye Courage and her sons
  • Last year,  the Courage Polar Bear Dip passed $1 million in total funds raised since teaming up with World Vision in 1995
  • This year's funds will help over 7,000 people in Rugarama, Rwanda where currently only half of the people living in the area have access to safe water

Visit  www.polarbeardip.ca for more information and  text COURAGE to 45678 to donate $5

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE:

  • Todd and Trent Courage, organizers of the Dip

SOURCE The Courage Polar Bear Dip

Video with caption: "Video: Brave participants dare to dip their hands in a bucket of freezing water ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20131220_C6284_VIDEO_EN_35222.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20131220_C6284_PHOTO_EN_35222.jpg&clientName=The%20Courage%20Polar%20Bear%20Dip&caption=Video%3A%20Brave%20participants%20dare%20to%20dip%20their%20hands%20in%20a%20bucket%20of%20freezing%20water%20&title=THE%20COURAGE%20POLAR%20BEAR%20DIP%20%2D%20Arrival%20of%20winter%20marks%20the%20official%20countdown%20to%20the%202014%20Courage%20Polar%20Bear%20Dip%20in%20Oakville&headline=Arrival%20of%20winter%20marks%20the%20official%20countdown%20to%20the%202014%20Courage%20Polar%20Bear%20Dip%20in%20Oakville

Image with caption: "Oakville's "Courage" the polar bear congratulates participants of the freeze test (CNW Group/The Courage Polar Bear Dip)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131220_C6284_PHOTO_EN_35217.jpg

Image with caption: "Father and daughter share a chilly moment during the Courage Polar Bear Dip freeze test  (CNW Group/The Courage Polar Bear Dip)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131220_C6284_PHOTO_EN_35216.jpg


For further information:

For further resources or to set up interviews, contact:

Cheryl Singleton, The Courage Polar Bear Dip, Cheryl@courage.ca 
Julia Rim Shepard, 416-722-8770, julia_rimshepard@worldvision.ca 
Darryl Konynenbelt, 416-669-2602, darryl_konynenbelt@worldvision.ca