The traditional Polar Bear anthem was sung with unusual gusto this year. By the time the anthem was sung, the group was already cold and wet enough to have met the frigid requirements of Polar Bear Club membership."/>


The traditional Polar Bear anthem was sung with unusual gusto this year. By the time the anthem was sung, the group was already cold and wet enough to have met the frigid requirements of Polar Bear Club membership."/> ‘Papa Bear’ offers thanks | News, Sports, Jobs - SANIBEL-CAPTIVA - Island Reporter, Islander and Current
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‘Papa Bear’ offers thanks

By Staff | Jan 13, 2010

To the editor,

Thunder, rain and a cold front moving in could not stop 111 enthusiastic, “officially signed-in” Polar Bears from taking their annual plunge at the “crack of noon” on New Year’s day. Noticeably absent, however, was the usual crowd of “mice” (those who wished they had the courage to join in).

The traditional Polar Bear anthem was sung with unusual gusto this year. By the time the anthem was sung, the group was already cold and wet enough to have met the frigid requirements of Polar Bear Club membership. They immediately raced into the water, even before the official start of the plunge, since the water temperature was warmer than the air.

When the bears had all four paws and their ears wet, they formed a giant circle for the Polar Bear hug/huddle, a body-warming activity. (At least the ones in the middle were warm.) Upon returning to the not-so-warm and not-so-dry land, the crowd all pitched in to gather the supplies and retreated to a shelter for the traditional champagne toast and the awarding of certificates and membership cards.

This year’s facts and figures are as follows:

111 members registered

22 states represented

2 foreign countries represented (Canada and England)

Special thanks are extended to Tom Giles for printing the cards and certificates.

Have a great 2010, and I’ll see you next year – same time, same place, same day.

John Carney

Sanibel