For the past nineteen years, January 1st meant Ness Lake Bible Camp was full with hundreds of people including spectators, camp staff, and those brave enough to head into the icy waters of Ness Lake during the camp’s annual Polar Bear Dip. 2019’s Polar Bear Dip saw a record 115 people participate in the 19th annual tradition. Much like everything else, COVID restrictions have prevented the camp from continuing their January 1st dip forcing them to postpone the event to a later date.
This year looked much different with only five people going into the water. The unofficial fundraising idea was the brainchild of Carol and Mark Stofer who still wanted to have their plunge into the cold water while fundraising for the camp’s Camp Sponsorship Fund so they decided to hold their own unofficial Polar Bear Dip and set themselves a fundraising goal of $20,000. When all their donatons had been counted, the Stofers beat their goal and ended up raising $20,561.
College Heights Baptist Church Associate Pastor Todd Wilkins also participated in the fundraiser and took the the water having received $10,300 in donations.
All funds raised from the dip go to the camp’s Camp Sponsorship Fund which helps sends kids to camp who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to go. When it was all said and done, a record setting $32,206 had been raised for the fund beating last year’s record of $22,000 raised.