January 13 is the 18th Annual Polar Bear Dip benefitting Childcan and ACCESS. Our fabulous prizes and the great feeling our dippers get from supporting two awesome registered charities make those few chilly moments worth it! The Dip takes place at Lakeside Park Pavilion, 315 Queen St. Kingsville, Ontario. Registration begins at 10:00am, the Dip at 11:00am, awards and hot lunch at 12:30pm.
New this year is the ‘Skip the Dip’ pass, created in response to the frequently heard comment, ‘I’d pay to get out of that!’ Dippers are participating as part of a team or individually, and gathering pledges to support ACCESS and Childcan. All who raise $100 or more will receive a commemorative t-shirt – even if they do opt to pay $10 for the ‘Skip the Dip’ pass
Fundraisers who raise more than $1,000 have their names entered in a draw for the top prizes: A Caesars Windsor Getaway Package including a complimentary hotel stay and tickets to a performance at the Colosseum; and, from the Air Canada Foundation, two Economy class tickets valid for travel to any Air Canada scheduled destination in North America including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.
One of the two charities benefiting from this always popular event, Childcan is an incorporated, registered, community-based charity which has been supporting children and their families through childhood cancer since 1974. Located in London, Childcan serves children who have been diagnosed at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, a tertiary care referral center serving 550,000+ children in Ontario, including those from Windsor-Essex. At any time, 25-30% of the children Childcan supports are from the Windsor-Essex region.
“This event is so special to so many of our families,” says Kathleen Barnard, Executive Director for Childcan. “Many teams have experienced the journey through childhood cancer directly or as close friends or family of the diagnosed child, and are dipping to honour these incredibly brave children. It’s a way for them to show support and to give back, which is so greatly appreciated.”
From affordable Housing & Basic Needs, the Nutrition Program, Kingsville Early Years, After School Programs and other basic needs assistance, ACCESS helps the most vulnerable in Essex County receive the support they require and will share in proceeds from the Dip. Last year, ACCESS provided service to over 1,000 youth with a range of needs from recreational programming to mental health crises, and kids experiencing homelessness or requiring personal skills development. Across Essex County, ACCESS facilitated over 45 community gardens in a variety of locations in 2017. More than 3,500 volunteers were engaged in these gardens, harvesting over 5,000 lbs of fresh, organic produce for families in need.
“It’s an exciting time for ACCESS; we’ve just moved our offices to 30 Sherk Street in Leamington with our partners The Bridge Youth Resource Centre,” says John Sutton, Executive Director for ACCESS. “Have some fun with us and take a Dip for two great causes – we couldn’t do it without the fabulous support from our generous community!”