OAKVILLE, ON, Jan. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - On New Year's Day more than 700 Canadians took a cold dunk for charity, braving water temperatures only slightly above freezing. The Courage Polar Bear Dip is Canada's largest polar bear dip for charity. Now in its 27th year, it has raised more than $940,000 for African water projects through World Vision. An enthusiastic group of dippers, many in costumes, took the plunge in Oakville, Ontario, as thousands of spectators cheered them on.
This year they raised more than $130,000. Money raised supports the World Vision Manonga Water and Sanitation Project in Tanzania, which provides thousands of people with clean and safe water.
"We are saving lives today," says dip co-founder, Trent Courage. "After visiting Rwanda and seeing World Vision projects in action I know what a difference we are making. We are building of wells, improving sanitation and providing sustainable gardens and groves that will protect the environment as well as provide income to communities."
The water was cold, but the cause made it worth the dip. Celebrity chef Roger Mooking brewed up a delicious hot chocolate recipe to help take off the chill.
Adding to the festivities was a life-sized sculpture of a mother polar bear and two cubs created by artist Bert Jackson.
The Courage Polar Bear Dip was created in 1984 by Todd and Trent Courage, who were teenagers at the time. Their mother encouraged them to do something different for New Year's Day.
"The image of watching hundreds of children carrying heavy yellow containers full of water, walking many miles to deliver it back to their villages and homes has been permanently etched in our minds - it's like a human pipeline - and that image is the motivation for us to raise more money this year than ever before imagined."-Todd Courage
For more information visit www.polarbeardip.ca.
World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
Video with caption: "Video: Hundreds take cold dunk in Courage Polar Bear Dip". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120101_C9680_VIDEO_EN_8544.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120101_C9680_PHOTO_EN_8544.jpg&clientName=World%20Vision%20Canada&caption=Video%3A%20Hundreds%20take%20cold%20dunk%20in%20Courage%20Polar%20Bear%20Dip&title=Hundreds%20take%20cold%20dunk%20in%20Courage%20Polar%20Bear%20Dip&headline=More%20than%20700%20Canadians%20%27brrrrrrave%27%20the%20cold%20in%20massive%20polar%20bear%20dip
Image with caption: "More than 700 Canadians braved cold temperatures at The Courage Polar Bear Dip, the largest polar bear dip for charity in Canada. The event raised more that $130,000 for World Vision water projects in Africa. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120101_C9680_PHOTO_EN_8543.jpg
Image with caption: "More than 700 Canadians braved cold temperatures at The Courage Polar Bear Dip, the largest polar bear dip for charity in Canada. The event raised more that $130,000 for World Vision water projects in Africa. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120101_C9680_PHOTO_EN_8541.jpg
For further information:
Alicia Pereira, 905-565-6200 ext. 3524, cell: 647-926-7106, email@example.com
Jane Bargout, 905-565-6200 ext. 2149, cell: 416-716-9728, firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Details can be found at www.polarbeardip.ca