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Frigid water awaits fundraising polar bear dippers

The money raised from the annual Polar Bear Dip in Cambridge Bay, to be held Aug. 10, is going to be put toward a future recreation complex, and the more dollars that pour in, the more community leaders who will take the plunge.

This photo depicts last year's Cambridge Bay Polar Bear Dip. This year's edition, scheduled for Aug. 10, will see community leaders wade into the chilly waters. How many? It depends on how much money is raised toward the $12,500 goal.
photo courtesy of Melanie Walsh

At the top of the chain of several volunteers is Deputy Mayor Christina L'Heureux, who has a $12,500 price tag attached to her exposure to the cold Arctic Ocean.

Recreation coordinator Fred Muise already knows he's on the hook. As of the July 30 fundraising update, $5,452.60 had been amassed, easily surpassing the $2,500 needed to obligate him. Also committed to taking a dip are Wayne Gregory, Josh Doyle and Charles Zikalala.

It won't be Muise's first time. He entered the chilly ocean three or four summers ago.

"I think I was the last one in and the first one out, but I followed the rules and I got drenched completely and then got out," Muise recalled. "It was pretty chilly, but it was fun. It was a laugh. Other people swam around for two or three minutes and I'm like, 'You're crazy.'"

He may savour the experience a little longer this time.

"It's my last chance to (be) in the Arctic Ocean so I might swim around a little this year and try to be brave like everybody else. It depends on how much money they raise," said Muise, who is moving back to his hometown of Yarmouth, N.S., at the end of August.