CHIPPEWA LAKE — Chippewa Lake is a place for boating, skiing and other fun summer activities. But summer will be just a warm memory when people participating in the eighth annual Polar Bear Jump and 5K Run and Walk plunge into the lake’s icy waters.
Sponsored by the Chippewa Lake Lions Club, the Jan. 27 event kicks off at 10 a.m. with registration. More than 250 people are expected to participate in the fun run and walk, which includes eight categories for awards.
An entry fee of $30 qualifies entrants to participate in the run/walk and the lake jump.
“They are two separate events,” event chairman Alan Robbins said. “The run starts at noon and the runners take anywhere from a half an hour to 45 minutes to complete that part of the race; and at about 1:15 p.m., we start the jump portion of the event.”
Robbins said those looking to take the plunge are welcome to wear a fun costume. Past costumes have included Cleveland Indians, Cruella De Vil, the Amish and wedding parties.
Proceeds from the event benefit area charities, including the Society for Handicapped Citizens of Medina County, Crosspointe Community Church’s meals program, Lafayette Township Fire Department, Church at the Lake United Methodist food pantry and the Chippewa Lake Lions Club.
Robbins said the Lions Club would like to raise more than $20,000 for the charities this year, which is how much the event raised the previous two years.
“That is what we get excited about; it is really a great fundraising event for our community and area,” Robbins said.
Participants are encouraged to have businesses, friends and family members sponsor their run and jump in an effort to raise as much money as possible for the organizations benefiting.
Those raising more than $500 will earn VIP jumper privileges, while those raising $100 for the event will receive a free T-shirt, Robbins said.
He said the algae that can affect the lake in the warmer months will not be an issue for those looking to take the polar plunge.
“We have good testing,” he said. “They stopped testing back in November. Everything was clear at that point.”
Robbins said in addition to raising money for area charities, the event also provides people with a different way to enjoy the lake.
“It is not for everybody, I understand that; but for something that is really unique, lots of fun, does really good things for our community and accentuates a fun time in the winter when everybody is pretty bored and there is not a lot going on, we give them a little bit of excitement.”
Pre-registration is available at www.chippewalake lions.com.
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.