HARVEYS LAKE ‚?? It was more like a teddy bear dip, given the mild weather and lack of ice Saturday, but the swimmers were no less enthusiastic about the Harveys Lake Polar Bear Plunge 2012.
The effort to raise funds for the American Cancer Society was well attended, boasting 90 participants and at least as many spectators.
Lake-Lehman High School juniors Cassie Stevens, Bethany Williams and Sami Sabol organized the event for their senior project. Stevens said it raised about $6,000 between pledges, T-shirt and raffle ticket sales and sponsorships.
About half that amount came from money raised by the InterMetro Industries team, which consisted of about 10 employees of the Wilkes-Barre-based manufacturer.
With the honk of an air horn, several teams took turns leaping or stepping off a landing at the Harveys Lake Yacht Club and into the calf-deep water before wading or diving out farther until they were waist- to shoulders-deep.
Sabol said they were pleased with the turnout and grateful to the sponsors. ‚??Without them, we wouldn‚??t have been able to do it,‚?Ě she said.
‚??We‚??ve all done it before and we thought it would be a good project. It‚??s for a good cause,‚?Ě Williams said.
The three organizers are members of the Lake-Lehman swim team, which is a tradition for the event, said community mentor Maureen Devine, a teacher at Lake-Lehman. She said the girls did a ‚??wonderful job‚?Ě and managed to muster the largest turnout since the event began.
Devine was the swim team coach when the event was started by Allison Boris, now 25 and living in Boston, in honor of her father, Dr. Frank ‚??Buddy‚?Ě Boris, in 2005. The well-loved Kingston dentist died of colon cancer in 2003, and Allison, then a Lake-Lehman swimmer, organized the event to raise money to sponsor a team in Relay for Life at cancer walk-a-thon.
‚??I‚??m just thrilled with the event,‚?Ě said Allison‚??s mother, Susan Boris, who watched from the shore and cheered on the swimmers. ‚??(Allison) just wanted a fundraiser to honor her dad, and he would have loved this. He loved the lake and he would have loved this atmosphere and all the people here,‚?Ě she said.