The water may have been cold, but the amount of money raised for Sylvan Lake area charities was enough to warm some hearts.
A total of 36 people jumped into the frigid waters of Sylvan Lake Saturday afternoon as part of the town’s Winterfest and Family fun at the lake over the weekend.
The jumpers raised $22,010.90 for local charities of their choosing. To enter they had to raise at least $100 that would go to the charity they chose.
Caleb Lorette, 18, chose the Fox Run School’s Breakfast program for his first ever polar dip.
“I thought it would be kind of fun,” said Lorette. “I wanted to see what all the hype was about. And no one else from my work wanted to do it, so here I am.”
He was the first to jump into the icy waters just off the pier at 5000 Lakeshore Dr. Dressed in a clown wig, onesie pajamas and a cape he led off the fun event.
“I was a little nervous, but not so much scared,” said Lorette. “The water was cold.”
Other charities included the Sylvan Lake Library, the Sylvan Lake Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Sylvan Lake Jump Start, the Central Alberta Humane Society, the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter, the Serenity Pet Shelter, the Sylvan Lake Spray Park, Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey and Bethany Sylvan Lake.
Veteran jumpers Chrystal Belanger and Denae Hussey were the top donors at the event, raised $5,411 each for Bethany Sylvan Lake and the Central Alberta Humane Society.
The two jumped at the end wearing cowgirl attire.
Other costumes featured a Spider-man, tutus, a man in a suit, a banana suit and a chicken outfit.
Last year, the event raised $30,000 for local charities.
Other events at winterfest included fireworks, a pancake breakfast, a community dance, a Frozen themed party, a farmers market, mini-golf, fishing and ball toss games, a petting zoo and sleigh rides on the lake.