River Hospital's annual Polar Bear Dip goes virtual again for 2022

Jan. 6—ALEXANDRIA BAY — Last year, after going virtual for the first time, River Hospital's 31st annual Polar Bear Dip raised over $50,000 for the purchase of an Echocardiogram for River Hospital's newly renovated Cardiopulmonary Department.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in effort to keep the community safe, The Friends of River Hospital have announced an all-virtual event again for 2022.

"It's important that we keep the tradition alive, but, as a local hospital, we have to always have safety in mind," Stephanie Weiss, executive director of development, said in a statement. "Just because the format has changed, doesn't mean the excitement, fun or importance of the event has to."

This year's funding will support resources for the Emergency Department, including additional cardiac monitors, which are critical to the hospital's COVID-19 response efforts.

The minimum donation goal to participate is $50 per dipper, regardless of age. Once registered online, dippers can start planning. All are encouraged to use their imagination — from doing snow angels in swimsuits or costumes, lounging in a cold-water kiddie pool, to snowball fights — everything qualifies except jumping into a body of water.

Participants will photograph or record their dip, send it to River Hospital, and share their dips and fundraising goals with friends and family during January and February. The final event, which will include participant submissions and a virtual judging party, will be held online on Saturday, Feb. 26.

For additional details on how to participate, visit the events page at www.riverhospital.org or find River Hospital on Facebook. For more information, contact Friends of River Hospital by email at cwakefield@riverhospital.org or phone at 315-482-4976.