The water was cold but the community spirit warm at a gala polar bear plunge last week to welcome in the New Year. Over 40 residents and visitors stripped down and jumped into the icy waters of Lake Kathlyn, cheered on by dozens of well-bundled spectators.
This was the Bulkley Valley’s first community polar bear event in many years and was entirely organized and supported by volunteers and donations. Special thanks go to Telkwa fire chief Laurence Turney and these members of the Telkwa Fire Rescue and Telkwa Swift Water/Ice Rescue teams: Jeremie Beaudoin, Andy Belfie, Shawn Bradford, Steve Cross, and Josiah Wardle. These hard-working technicians watched the frigid weather, hauled cutting and emergency gear to the lake, punched through 20-inch thick ice, kept us all safe in and out of the water, and fitted ice blocks over the open water after the event. Thank-you so much as well to the following organizations for donating all of the services and products required by the polar plunge: Raven Rescue for risk management services, Bulkley Valley Credit Union for insuring the event, Safeway for supplying hot chocolate and snacks, Bachrach Communications for posters and promotion, Smithers Feed for the bonfire pallets, and the BC Ambulance Service for the standby emergency vehicle.
Toques off to all!