Friday, February 10, 2023

Schools encouraged to participate in Chamber’s ‘Polar Dip’

By Lorraine Glowczak

In its third year, the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce (SLRCC) will host its annual Sebago Lake Polar Dip at Sebago Lake’s Raymond Beach on Saturday, Feb 18.

Plunge time begins promptly at noon and spectators are welcome to cheer the brave souls who will be diving in the icy waters along the shores of Route 302.

Participants in previous Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of
Commerce Polar Dip events jump into the freezing lake
waters to help raise funds for Lakes Region food pantries.
This year's Polar Dip will be conducted at Raymond Beach
at noon on Saturday, Feb. 18 and school teams are 
encouraged to sign up. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE    
Right now, there are 10 teams who will participate in the Polar Dip to raise funds to benefit Lakes Region food pantries, all of which are a part of the Chamber’s business connections. The food pantries in Casco, Gray, Naples, New Gloucester, Raymond, Sebago, Standish, and Windham will be the recipients of the funds raised again this year.

But what makes this year’s polar dip extra special is the invitation by Melissa Dubois, Windham High School’s (WHS) Health/PE Teacher and advisor for the Mental Health Advocacy Committee (also referred to as the Kindness Crew) to other Lake Region area schools for a fun little competitive spirit.

“The goal is to help raise awareness about food insecurity right here in the Lakes Region area,” Dubois said. “Right now, WHS has approximately six teams from various clubs who are going to participate in the polar dip. The students are excited to not only try something they haven’t done before but also to do something important that helps others in valuable ways, which also includes the fact this is one of many ways to spread kindness throughout the community.”

Robin Mullins, the President & CEO of the SLRCC, is very grateful for Dubois’ encouragement to the Lakes Region schools. She said that the chamber has promoted participation from all eight towns the chamber supports.

“We always have many teams from the Windham area who participate in the polar dip, but we hope to increase participation from other area towns,” Mullins said. “All eight towns are the recipients of the funds raised so when Melissa approached me with the idea of WHS competing with Gray-New Gloucester, Bonny Eagle, and Lake Region High Schools I was super excited. I thought, ‘Wow. She is a genius.’”

Both Mullins and Dubois contacted the other area high schools and there was interest in participation.

“They were excited about the possibility but weren’t quite sure they could pull it off this year,” Mullins said.

As a result, Dubois and Mullins are collaborating with the high schools to continue conversations about other friendly competitions to raise funds and spread kindness.

“It’s all in the beginning stages but we hope by next year’s polar dip, there will be a big group of students from all the Lake Region high schools who will compete to raise the most funds,” Dubois said.

Of course, safety is of the upmost importance when it comes to jumping into the icy waters of Sebago Lake. Mullins encourages all team members to consider the advice from the American Red Cross.

“Before jumping in the water, stand on a blanket or towel and only remove your clothes right before you enter the water. Wear socks, aqua boots, neoprene surf boots, or running shoes to stop your feet from sticking to the snowy, icy shore or the mucky lake bottom to prevent cuts and scrapes from the frozen ground. If you wear glasses, secure them with a strap or bathing cap.”

Mullins said that spotters will be available with towels to help participants out of the icy waters. There will be two heated trailers to change out of wet clothes and hot chocolate for all participants.

SLRCC is still accepting more teams and jumpers.

“We are looking for more jumpers (student clubs/sports teams, faculty, co-workers, families). They must register online at Jumpers under the age of 18 must have their parent's permission to jump. There is a link for anyone who wants to donate but doesn’t want to get wet.”

For more information about the Polar Dip, contact Robin Mullins at or 207-892-8265. To donate,

Mullins also encourages those who enjoy ice fishing to participate in the Sebago Lakes Rotary’s 21st annual Ice Fishing Derby that is taking place on Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19. You can register online by going to: or forms are available at Sebago Bait Shop in Windham and at Jordan’s Store in Sebago.<

No comments:

Post a Comment