Not in-person? No problem. River Hospital’s Polar Bear Dip still makes a huge splash

Not in-person? No problem. River Hospital’s Polar Bear Dip still makes a huge splash

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Whether it was paddling a kayak down a snowy hill, getting drenched by a fire truck hose, or sitting out enjoying a personal “dip,” a wide range of submissions made River Hospital’s virtual 2021 Polar Bear Dip a huge success.

Participants were asked to submit videos online this year and people could donate money to their favorite take on the traditional river jump.

“We did get submissions from all over the country from people who couldn’t necessarily, or wouldn’t necessarily, be in the Bay, but they still wanted to support the hospital and they still wanted to participate,” said River Hospital Executive Director of Development Stephanie Weiss.

Kids were also allowed to take the dip this year, contributing their own creative styles.

The submissions were judged on Saturday and the event was hosted by WWNY’s Jeff Cole.

The half hour online special highlighted the individual and group efforts to keep the popular tradition alive.

“We’ve seen our supporters in the community really rally around the hospital over and over again over the past year and I guess this feels like an accumulation of that moment in a lot of ways,” Weiss said.

The money raised is going to help the hospital purchase a new echocardiogram. The goal was to raise $50,000 and the event has already surpassed that.

“It was amazing to see those numbers keep going up and we were all just so excited and so pleased to be able to to be at this point in the event, it was fantastic,” Weiss said.

But the fundraising isn’t over. The link to donate doesn’t close until Sunday.

Weiss says organizers hope to have the event in person next year but many have asked if some of the virtual components can continue.

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