Polar Bear3

The Courage Polar Bear Dip is celebrated New Year’s Day tradition at Coronation Park in Oakville with its family friendly atmosphere, costume contests, live music and of course the chilly dip into Lake Ontario at 2pm sharp every January 1st. This popular event began on New Year’s Day in 1985 when Gaye Courage told her teenage boys Todd and Trent to “go jump in the lake” to shake off the cobwebs from the night before. What started with the Courage Brothers and a handful of friends in a Burlington backyard has grown into the largest charity Polar Bear Dip in Canada raising over $1.5 Million for clean water projects through World Vision Canada since partnering with them in 1995.

The Brothers visited Rwanda with World Vision in 2008 to see how funds raised were helping the community and that video can be found at along with the memorable Rick Mercer segment from the January 1 2008 event. The 2017 event saw over 700 people ‘take the plunge,’ while more than 5,000 spectators cheered them on. Thanks to those brave dippers and their generous corporate supporters over $120,000 was raised for Clean Water Projects in Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana and Mali. The funds raised will help build wells that bring clean water to thousands of people, provide improved sanitation facilities, teach proper hygiene and sanitation practices and allow vegetable and fruit trees to be planted around water sources to protect the environment and provide income to maintain the wells and hand pumps. Further info including how you can support the event can be found at

This is an excerpt from the March edition of “AROUND THE 16 MILE – celebrating our town”, the monthly newsletter by Saunders, Saxton & Winter focusing on Oakville, Ontario.  If you’d like to receive our monthly newsletter automatically via email just fill in the form below.  To receive this specific newsletter please contact and be sure to include the title of this post so we know which newsletter to send you.
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