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Polar Bear Dip into icy St. Lawrence will be Saturday in Alex Bay

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — One brave “dipper” after another, more than 200 people are expected to plunge into the icy St. Lawrence River on Saturday to show their support of the community’s hospital.

Friends of River Hospital’s 24th annual Polar Bear Dip will be held in front of The Pointe Bar and Grill at the Bonnie Castle Resort, 31 Holland St.

Every winter, participants gather donations from family and friends, dress up and dive into the freezing-cold water — in style.

Dippers will be judged in two categories: costume and technique. Participants must be at least 18 years old, and a $100 minimum pledge is required from each participant.

Registration will be from 9 a.m. to noon, and the dipping will begin at 1 p.m.

Last year’s event raised a record-breaking $71,000 with 220 participants.

The proceeds went toward the purchase of a portable ultrasound machine for River Hospital’s Emergency Department and computer software for the respiratory department.

“We always expect more people to participate. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the turnout every year,” said event coordinator Karen V. Peters.

Money raised this year will benefit the River Hospital Endowment Fund, which is administered by the Northern New York Community Foundation.

A 50/50 raffle also will be held during the event.

For those who’d rather watch the icy action from the cozy indoors over a warm meal, Bonnie Castle also will stream the 2014 Polar Bear Dip in real time on a large projection screen in the “Home of the Stars” banquet room.

For more information, visit River Hospital Foundation’s website — www.riverhospitalfoundation.org — or call the foundation at 482-4976.

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