June 14th, 2024

Polar Plunge returns to Henderson’s icy embrace

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 25, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Lethbridge Police Service Const. Braylon Hyggen jumped in the tub Tuesday at Arctic Spas to help announce the annual Polar Plunge returning to Henderson Lake this year.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Annual Polar Plunge hosted by the Lethbridge Police Service in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run, is heading back to Henderson Lake this year.

The Polar Plunge raises awareness and funds for Special Olympics, with a collective goal for all the events taking place across Alberta of $150,000 this year. LPS said in a press release that as of today, just over $77,200 has been raised so far.

After three years away from the lake due to COVID-19 restrictions and being unable to have members of the community join in, the Polar Plunge will be taking place on Feb. 4 at noon at Henderson Lake, with registration open to the general public starting at 11 a.m.

“The option to do a virtual event is still open to anybody who wants to do it on their own time,” said Const. Braylon Hyggen, who oversees organization of the annual Plunge.

But he said is always better to do it in person as it feels more realistic and fun to do it with others around you.

“I always look at it as it is the real deal when you jump in a lake or something that is out in the cold, opposed to I can go pour hot water on myself and say that I’m doing a Polar Plunge,” said Hyggen.

He said it is also more fun when you have the community support when doing it with other people and other peers.

All plungers must be a minimum of 16-years-old and for safety reasons, there will be no diving, no cannonballs and no somersaults.

The LPS Team ‘BRRRothers in Blue which includes Cst. Hyggen, Insp. Jason Dobirstein, Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh and Mayor Blaine Hyggen are challenging citizens to get out their best swim suits and flip flops or kick things up a notch with a costume and join them. 

“Any costume or anything that would make it more fun to come and jump in, so dress like you’re going to Hawaii and going to have a beach day if you like,” said Hyggen.

He said supporting Special Olympics Alberta through the Polar Plunge is something he has always had a passion for.

“The athletes bring a smile to their face every time they are out on the court or bowling, so it’s something that is great to see the true meaning of sports. They are out there, it doesn’t matter who scores, if it’s the opposite team it still puts a big smile on their face, so it’s a great feeling to watch that and raise money for such an amazing organization,” said Hyggen.

LPS is letting everyone taking part in the plunge know that change tents will be available on site but there will be no secure storage for valuables.

Individuals or teams can register in advance at https://soa.crowdchange.ca/26896 or at 11 a.m. at Henderson Lake on the day of the Plunge. The cost to register is $50.

Those who wish to donate to a team or individual can use the same link and donations will also be accepted at the event. Tax receipts will be provided for amounts over $25.

Hyggen said he hopes to see a lot of people there to crowd the lake.

“We’re going to have a hot tub there. Arctic Spas has been with us for the last 11 years donating a hot tub to warm up after the plunge, so after you jump in you can warm up right away. So come out and join us,” said Hyggen.

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