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Nice ice: plunge benefits FeedMore WNY

Polar plunge held at Mayville’s Winterfest

OBSERVER Photos by Natasha Matteliano Santa jumps in the lake while his penguin friend waits patiently for his turn.
Rainbow Brite jumps in — barefoot. At right, two participants play leapfrog after their jump, entertaining the crowd and receiving lots of cheers.

MAYVILLE – The village held its annual polar plunge event on Saturday, freezing the participants from head to toe.

The polar plunge is one of many activities included in the Presidents Day Winter Festival in Mayville. Being a festival favorite, the polar plunge was very popular with lots of jumpers and a huge crowd to cheer them on. The temperature was a chilly 27 degrees outside, making the brave participants even more cold as they emerged from the water.

The event was organized by Family Health Medical Services and benefited the FeedMore WNY organization. Several businesses sponsored the plunge, donating to people in need. The businesses who generously sponsored are Bentley Tree Care, LLC, Kaleida Health, Lawley Insurance, WNY Urology Associates, Team AjStrong, Chautauqua Harbor Hotel and DFT Communications. 100% of funds raised from the Polar Plunge are donated to the 42 FeedMore WNY member agencies here in Chautauqua County.

Over the last 5 years, the FHMS Polar Plunge has raised $32,984.69 to neighbors in need. Also in past years, participants have worn fun outfits to jump into the lake. There were many plungers that had fun costumes on this year as well, such as Santa Claus, a penguin and Rainbow Brite. Some people were even wearing only swimsuits, without any shoes!

Participants who raised $50 or more earned a Polar Plunge t-shirt. Those who raise more also had the opportunity to win additional prizes. All money raised will allow FeedMore of WNY to provide nutritious food, friendship and skills training to the 16,150 Chautauqua County residents who are food-insecure.

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