Frigid fundraiser for Stewart Park Festival

Polar Bear Pete (Alfred Von Mirbach), Janette Buker, Joel Leblanc and James Keelaghan take the plunge

Stewart Park Festival, in Perth, Ontario, was the 2012 recipient of the Perth Legion’s 18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. Every year, the Polar Bear Plunge sees Plungers gathering pledges and on January 1st, plunging into the frigid water through a hole cut in the ice of the Tay River. Rescue crews are in the water to assist.

Over 75 plungers of all ages “did the deed” on the first day of 2012 and helped raise over $11,000 for the Festival. Notable jumpers were Stewart Park Festival Chairperson John McKenty, Artistic Director Joel Leblanc, board member and musician James Keelaghan, Festival Director Heather Hansgen, Stage Manager Pete Cochrane, Polar Bear Pete (aka Alfred Von Mirbach) and myself, the festival’s Onsite Coordinator and top fundraiser at this year’s plunge with about $2000 raised.

Stewart Park Festival

Stewart Park Festival is one of the few free festivals in this province. It happens in the lovely town of Perth Ontario each year, and the 22nd Annual will be July 20, 21,22 in 2012. Funds generated from the Plunge will help enhance this already well established festival.

Click this link to watch a video of this year’s plunge — including writer Steve Tennant in a feather boa & an umbrella hat!

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  1. Joel LeBlanc 11 January, 2012 at 15:04

    No one should have to see semi-nude photos of me! That’s why I collected the money before I jumped. A big thank you to James Keelagahan for going above and beyond in his support of the Stewart Park Festival. Congratulations to Steve Tennant for being the top fundraiser. Like all festivals it’s the spirit and hard work of the volunteers like Steve that make it all happen.
    Joel LeBlanc
    Baby it’s cold outside……

  2. Joelle May 12 January, 2012 at 19:01

    This is solid gold. Solid cause it’s FROZEN!! You’re all very brave souls and it makes me ache just to think about how frigid this must have been! Kudos!

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