River Hospital’s Polar Bear Dip goes virtual

WWNY River Hospital’s Polar Bear Dip goes virtual

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - River Hospital’s annual Polar Bear Dip can’t happen in-person this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but there’s still a way to make a splash.

River Hospital’s Polar Bear Dip is known for being big, bold and cold.

But the fundraising event can’t happen in-person this year, so instead of diving into the St. Lawrence, participants will surf the web. It’s going virtual.

“Think of it as, you can do your own dip! Whether it’s the ice bucket challenge, run through a sprinkler, be as creative as you want. Then we ask people to upload those videos and we can have fun and support the hospital, but do it safely,” said Stephanie Weiss, River Hospital director of development.

This year, kids are invited to participate and there will still be awards for best costumes and techniques.

But the biggest prize of all is the money raised. This year, funds will help buy an echocardiogram machine.

“This would be a huge advance for us to be able to do that, allowing us to keep probably more people here at River Hospital without having to transfer them further away from their homes,” said Dr. Aaron Campbell, hospitalist.

Since there isn’t a safety team to pull you from the icy river, organizers ask that you not jump in any body of open water.

There are other ways to make a splash!. You can roll down an icy hill. You can also try a refreshing cool-down or create a snowy style!

Once you have your chilly challenge recorded, you can post it online until February 21. Judges will watch them on February 27.

“We’re super excited about what this can do for our hospital and our patients. We’re really grateful with everything our frontline workers have done this year and we really encourage people to come out and support it,” said Weiss.

To donate, register, or watch others’ videos, click here.

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