Local celebrities have been collecting donations ahead of the second annual Polar Bear Splash. This weekend, residents will witness Mayor Gerald Aalbers and others participating in the celebrity-themed splash take the plunge for Border City Connects.
Participants had an extra two weeks to reach their fundraising goals after the event’s date was moved due to extreme cold weather. Director of Border City Connects Glenn Fagnan says the delay has given more breathing room towards getting ready for the event and those raising funds.
“We have lost some people, but have also gained some. It’s been a mixed bag,” Fagnan says a positive note during the two-week date switch was the Fred North foundation matching Mayor Aalbers amount fundraised to reach his goal of $15,000.
The total raised so far is unknown until Saturday when donation slips come in. Last year the event raised $18,000 and bumped that goal to $40,000 this year. Fagnan says they only had five dropouts within the two weeks, so the total of participants will be around 20.
“Our MLA Richard Starke has a back injury and we another individual has a concussion and others saying “Hey, I can’t do it”. We’ve had some negative things like that, but also a few positives. People have said “hey, I was supposed to be away but I’m going to be here. I’d like to take the splash”.”
All proceeds raised will go towards Border City Connects, formerly known as the Handivan Society. Its vehicles provide a means to get around for people with mobility issues in Lloydminster with over 16,000 trips this year.
“We’re a non-profit, of course, we don’t have a pile of government dollars and grants or anything like that. So, this is important for our day-to-day operations.”
The Polar Bear Splash is taking place from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. outside the Centennial Civic Centre prior to the 2019 Battle of the Badges Hockey Todd Gustavson Memorial Tournament. Prizes will be awarded for participants including best costume and most funds raised. Anyone looking to help raise funds for the event can head to Border City Connects website.