14th Annual WCCC Polar Dip

Adrienne DiPiazza

Updated 11 months ago

“They think I’m crazy,” says Jason Dupui of his friends.

Crazy that is, for jumping in the ocean at the Canadian border, in January.

“You will run out quicker than you ran in and make sure you scream,” says Tessa Ftorek, she’s dipped 14 times.

It’s the 14th annual Washington County Community College Polar Dip. The thrill-seeker event raises money for two non-profits in Bangor and Holden.
“What would we folks do, who live so far out for major medical? We have the Ronald McDonald House, now we have Sarah’s House of Maine and we are happy to support them both,” said Ftorek.

We found Jason Dupui in the crowd. He dipped for the first time 14 years ago.

“Oh it’s amazing, it brings tears to my eyes. My brother actually had to stay at the Ronald McDonald House so there’s a personal feeling to it for me,” he said.

The water temperature? In the 30’s, on a warmer than average day, so I thought why not give it a try?  I got some advice from someone who’s done it every year before hopping in.

“As a veteran dipper, get in, get out, and get home,” said Barbara Barrett, she’s also dipped 14 times.

And… that’s pretty much what everyone does.

“Very cold but well worth it,” said Dupui after jumping in.

The Polar Dip is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s just critical for us to be able to take care of the hundreds of families every year that stay at the Ronald McDonald House,” said Darlene Macleod, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House.

The National Guard was on sight lending a hand with heated tents.

“They’re great causes. Cancer and those things affect everybody, we know that. We have family members ourself and it’s just fantastic you know state wide it’s just a great opportunity for us to give back,” said National Guard SFC Cummings.

Dupui says he can’t wait to do it again.

“Definitely I’ll be back here next year,” he said.


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