Revellers ring in the New Year at first Okanagan Hunger Dip

Nearly two dozen people took part in the first annual Hunger Dip in support of the Food Bank

Braden Miasha and fellow Hunger dippers race down the beach to the frigid waters of Skaha Lake Tuesday. Mark Brett/Western News

A couple dozen brave souls bared it all in sub-zero temperatures to ring in the New Year in support of a great cause Tuesday at Skaha Lake’s Sudbury Beach.

The first annual Hunger Dip, organized by Al Weldon and a few other like-minded individuals raised about $5,000 which will go to the Salvation Army Community Food Bank.

Among them was 60-year-old Gene Walford, draped in a BC flag cape, a horned viking helmet and little else.

“I’m here because it’s such a great idea, I’m just excited about the whole ordeal,” said Walford, who alone brought in over $500. “When I found out it was going to the Salvation Army, well, the Salvation Army helped me out, I was in addiction and I found recovery and the Salvation Army was a big part of that recovery.

“They’ve helped me out getting my life back together, I ended up going back to school, got a trade, got a job so I’m here to give back, have a good time and start the year off with a fresh outlook, very fresh.”

Related: Polar bears wanted for first annual Hunger Dip

John Rankin, family services supervisor was among the many Salvation Army representatives at the beach – watching.

“This is all generated by citizens in the community, to supply food for people in need and that’s just a tremendous thing for them to do, a great start to the new year,” said Rankin. “This is so important to us, knowing that some people who have benefited from the Food Bank are giving back and giving of their time, giving of their talents and their resources is just tremendous.”

Organizer Weldon is a former member of the Association of Recovering Motorcyclists (ARM) which has since ceased operations and had previously run a Hunger Ride in support of the Food Bank.

Related: Penticton food bank holiday hampers go to those in need

“We here to bring the community together and to raise some funds for the Salvation Army,” said Weldon. “Thirty per cent of its clients are children, so who wants hungry children? The other thing is every dollar we donate to them equates to three dollars in buying power and that’s pretty incredible.”

After his all-too-quick dip in the frigid water, first time polar bear participant Braden Miasha described his plunge, through chattering teeth, as: “nice and refreshing.”

Penticton Western News reporter Jordyn Thomson, who also signed on for the cause and raised several hundred dollars of her own, had a slightly more honest description of her experience.

“I still cannot feel my extremities, my body just shut down as soon as I got in there, 10,000 regrets but it was so super fun to do, I’m so happy we raised so much money for the food bank, so awesome,” she said afterwards.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

Participants, including Penticton Western News reporter Jordyn Thomson (centre) head to Skaha Lake. Mark Brett/Western News

Gene Walford checks the temperature before shedding his clothes and hitting the waters of Skaha Lake at the first annual Hunger Dip in support of the Salvation Army Community Food Bank. Mark Brett/Western News

Penny Alvard (right) and Nikki Brown wait near the start line. Mark Brett/Western News

Naramata’s Elaine Davidson was decked out in her New Year’s finest for her plunge. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton Western News reporter Jordyn Thomson was all smiles as she exits Skaha Lake after her Hunger Dip. Mark Brett/Western News

Hunger Dip participants thaw out by the beach fire afterwards. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

Finals set for Trail Youth Baseball

Youth Baseball finals: Jr. Trail Red Sox vs Trail Blue Jays and the U13 Trail Red Sox vs Castlegar

Demolition day in downtown Trail

Teardown begins on Cedar Ave. building

Governments announce $53M to buy Grand Forks properties, fix river banks destroyed in flooding

The Boundary Flood Recovery team applied for the grant last January

Council awards contract to upgrade Trail jail cells

The city received notification from the RCMP detailing modifications in 2009

Bay and family celebrate induction into Hall of Fame

Trail native Jason Bay was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on June 15.

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Surrey B.C. mayor says the RCMP has announced it will unionize

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Fundraiser for Sparwood cancer patient raises over $80k

“Friday was something I won’t ever forget,” said Sparwood’s Barry Marchi.

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Case of missing Kootenay teen still unsolved 50 years later

Phillip Porter, age 16, disappeared near his home in Kimberley on June 26, 1969

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Most Read