On the 1 January 2016 at the St Albans Sub Aqua Club pool on Cottonmill Lane was the venue for the inaugural St Albans Polar Bear Plunge! This was a chance for brave people to plunge into the icy water of the pool all to raise money for charity. The event attracted 151 plucky plungers ranging from 5 to 66 years in age and well over 150 spectators to cheer them on.
The event was opened by the mayor who led the countdown for Plunger no. 1 Ed Suttie to jump into the pool. The mayor also during his introductory speech indicated he was prepared to plunge into the pool only if he made a difference. He issued a challenge on the spot for fundraising which in 15 minutes had raised an extra £340 from those in attendance!
Hot baked potatoes, drinks, postcard sales, raffle, bar, glitter tattoos and a fabulous craft stall for kids all contributed to a bustling event that cheered the New Year in. Thank you to Sainsbury’s in Everard Close for part sponsoring the food. Musical entertainment was provided by an eclectic and entertaining mix of local talent thanks to Denise Parsons. All plucky plungers got a warming hot chocolate, a medal and T-Shirts will be on the way to them. Some were also recognised for their exceptional fancy dress costumes (from a penguin, some Santas, a troupe of snowman, a giraffe, Bananaman, a ghostbuster and even Buzz Lightyear).
There was even a crowdfunded project to get two warm water only swimmers from Arctic nations Chrissie Saunders (Canadian) and Birgir Scheving (Icelandic) to plunge into the icy pool. This raised an incredible £1115 extra for charity.
A huge thanks to all the volunteers and helpers from the charities, our neighbourhood and city and that contributed to the event raising a fantastic £5093.28 for charity.
The Polar PA (Ed’s wife Clare) worked tirelessly on organising the Plunge and following all the requests received it is set to become a regular fundraising St Albans event. Congratulations to all who plunged and cheered!