Blizzard Helps Polar Bear Dip Participants Train For Big Day 

In a little over three weeks a lot of folks will be going for a swim outdoors in Oakland. It’s the annual Polar Bear Dip to benefit the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville. A few of this year’s dippers took advantage of today’s wild weather to get in some practice. Around 100 people normally take part in the Polar Bear Dip, a fundraiser put on by the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville. This year, those brave souls will be jumping into, a very frozen, Snow Pond. Ken Walsh is the CEO at Alfond Youth Center. “This year we’re hoping to send 20-40 kids. Every $1000 we raise we can send a kid to camp for the whole summer.”Walsh has taken the plunge every year since 1992. This year, he’s recruited a few newcomers to join in on the frozen festivities. Nathaniel White, the Heritage Shore Director at the Alfond Youth Center. “How did “I’m the new full time employee at the Alfond Center so I think it’s part of my duty to be a part of this.” Also joining in on the fun is the chairman of the board at the youth center, and first time jumper, Michael Levenseller. “Usually I get out of it every year by going to Florida. This year he said no you can’t go to Florida. You need to come down here and roll in the snow.” Walsh says before taking the polar dip, he’s advised his rookie teammates to do some training, and when you’re planning on jumping into a frozen pond, you couldn’t ask for better conditions to train in. “We thought, on this wonderful snowy blizzard day, that I’d bring my 2 colleagues here,” Walsh said. “My friends who want to help demonstrate this great event by doing this preseason workout.”Walsh also had some tips for other first time jumpers. “The key is to be one of the last jumpers. Because if you have 100 jumpers than the temperature of the water goes up maybe a half a degree.”The Polar Bear Dip is scheduled for Saturday February 26th at 1:00 at the Oakland town boat landing. Any participant who raises $1000 or more will be entered in a drawing to win a trip to the Bahamas.