PolaRotary Plungers Jump to Raise Fund for Charities

Close to 100 people took the PolaRotary Bear Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Lake Arrowhead Resort beach to raise money for their charities. Organized by the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead twelve years ago at the recommendation of Dr. Pat Rains, the annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge has been a successful fundraising event.

“We ended up with 97 jumpers on Saturday’s PolaRotary Bear Plunge — second highest in our 12 years,” shared co-chair Barbara Doutt. “We have 27 charities [who] participated at the Plunge event and all 27 will benefit from this fundraising event. We are estimating that we will at least reach $40,000 this year.”

The 27 participating charities included Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation, Acton-Aqua Dulce Unified School District, Arrowhead Arts Association, Blue Jay Jazz Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of the Mountain Communities, CSUSB Mountain Communities Scholarship Society, Junior League of Riverside, Knights of Columbus #7950, Lake Arrowhead Rotary Foundation, Mountain Counseling & Training, Mountain Humane Society, Mountain Jewish Community, Mountain Sunrise Rotary Foundation, Mountains Community Hospital Foundation, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Project Alive, Rim Communities Special Olympics Local Chapter, Rim Educational Foundation, Rim High Music Program, Rim High Boys & Girls Wrestling, Rim of the World Historical Society, Ronald McDonald House, San Bernardino County Fire Fighters Association, Sandals Church Kids, Sky Forest Elks Lodge #2393, Soroptimist International of Rim of the World, UCLA Bruins Scholarship Foundation, and Wildhaven Ranch.

Hundreds of spectators showed up at the Lake Arrowhead Resort beach to watch, cheer and support their jumpers. 

“We have quite a few first-time jumpers this year,” said founder Dr. Pat Rains. “Many of them [get] into the costume contest.”

Costumes range from Mother Teresa to Elvis, and Charlie Brown to a Dragon.

“Judge Michael Dest and I have been judging the costumes for about ten years,” said Sondra Hughes, fashion icon and owner of Sondra’s Wild Sophistication. “This year we had a very difficult time because they are so many creative costumes.”

Bob McConnell, costumed as a Star Wars character, won first place in the Individual Costume Award; followed by Fire Chief Ron Walls who wore his own official fire chief uniform and took second place.

Mountains Community Hospital Foundation lead by administrator Charlie Harrison won first place in the Team Award as Charlie Brown (Charlie Harrison) and Friends, joined by Dr. Van Martin as Pig-Pen, Patrick Miller as Franklin, Cheri Altmeyer as Sally, Cynthia Bush as Woodstock, Cherie Pierson as Snoopy, deLynn Walker as Lucy and Denise Swart as Peppermint Patty.

Rim Education Foundation won second place as Crayons in the Team Award category. The third Team Award went to Soroptimists in a two-person Dragon costume.

“The honorable mentions are Wildhaven Ranch (Coldwell Banker team) and Knights of Columbus,” said judge Sondra Hughes.

“I am a skunk,” said Steve Keefe, owner/broker of Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty, who has a painted skunk face, wearing crop-top and black shorts with a skunk tail. Keefe was jumping for Wildhaven Ranch, along with his agents ‘Eagle’ Alec Hutton, ‘Ducky’ Clayton Weber, and ‘Deer’ John Lassak.

“It was truly gratifying to see the outpouring of community support for the plunge,” said Rotary Club president Peter Venturini. “So many people, having so much fun, supporting so many worthwhile causes on our mountain. I am looking forward to Plunge number 13 in 2021.”

The next PolaRotary Bear Plunger is on the first Saturday of February 2021, rain, snow or shine. For more information, contact Dr. Pat Rains by email: ArhdVet@hotmail.com.