The temperatures were dipping towards -20 C when the five fundraisers slipped into the chilly waters of Buffalo Lake on Feb. 21.
Safety was paramount for those taking the plunge, with members of Stettler Regional Fire Department and Stettler Regional Ambulance Service on hand.
The Stettler fire department prepared the plunge location on Feb. 20, and when people began to arrive the next day a tent had been set up, with a heater, so those taking the plunge could get changed in a somewhat warmer area.
Two swimmers in dry suits were in the hole cut in the ice, prepared to help pull any of the polar plungers out of the water in an emergency.
Big Valley Coun. Amber Hoogenberg and Ol’ MacDonald representative Marci Spady were the first to hit water. The duo opted to go in together to keep each other from backing out at the last minute.
Next up was County of Stettler Coun. Justin Stevens, who came out of the tent wearing water wings and a bathing suit. Stevens opted to make a splash, belly-flopping into the cold water.
Town of Stettler Coun. Kurt Baker was the next up. Baker opted to jump into the water the more traditional feet first method.
The final polar plunger who was raising funds was area resident Dustin Stauffer.
Stauffer entered the water via the ladder and, unlike the other four who jumped into the water and climbed right back out, stayed in the water for a full 10 minutes.
When he climbed out he was greeted with a fire department member with warm blankets.
These five community members were “Freezin’ for a Reason,” raising money for a pair of Sea-Doo-style rescue-equipped water craft for the fire department to use on the lake.
According to Stevens, the five had set out to raise $5,000 to go towards the $40,000 to $50,000 project.
The $5,000 was exceeded with total funds raised being somewhere over $17,000 as of Feb. 21.