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Polar Bear Jump

Organizers Cancel 2020 Polar Bear Jump

Organizers Cancel

2020 Polar Bear Jump

Wyatt Waters, son of event organizer Brenda and Jamie Waters made not one, but two belly-flopping runs during this year’s Polar Bear Jump. Though the 2020 jump has been cancelled,the 25th annual jump has been rescheduled for February 2021. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

MILFORD – The Goodyear Lake Polar Bears will have to wait another year for the plunge.

“We regret to inform all of our loyal supporters that the 25th annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump has been canceled due to a recent motor vehicle accident involving Brenda and Jamie Waters,” she wrote on the group’s Facebook page Tuesday evening. “Goody, The Waters Family and all of our dedicated volunteers will miss the brave and loyal jumpers this year.”

But it’s not the end – Brenda said the 25th anniversary jump will return next year.

The annual event, which attracts more than 200 to plunge into ice-covered Goodyear Lake every
February, has raised over $1 million, donated for children struggling with chronic illnesses.

Though she and her husband, Jamie, did their first polar bear jump in the St. Lawrence Seaway, they soon brought the idea home, with their first jump in 1997.

“I told him, ‘We don’t need to drive up there, we have cold water here!’” said Brenda. “We wanted to raise money for our church, so we did it ourselves.”

The next year, they added a local girl, Carlie Barry, then 3, who had cancer. “We just added recipients and jumpers every year.”

There were 11 jumpers the first year, and this year, nearly 300 brave souls took the plunge and raised more than $130,000, a record amount, for 16 recipients.

“I don’t know where they get that selfless courage,” said Brenda. “It’s crazy.”

They also do fundraising drives for the event that don’t require a bathing suit and a strong constitution, including the annual Chinese Auction at the Milford Central School, as well as fundraisers through the local schools.

“One hundred percent of the funds raised go to our recipients,” said Brenda. “I love to say that.”

However, the Waterses have come up with a way to continue fundraising for the recipients who have been selected. In January, there will be a contest to design a “No Fear” shirt, and the winning design will be printed on shirts and given to donors who give $100 or more.

They’ll also be hosting a songwriting contest, where local choral groups will compete to be in a Five Star Subaru commercial and participate in a song with up-and-coming country star Rylee Lum, the 12-year-old singer from Gilbertsville.

“People keep coming up to me with all these creative ideas,” she said. “And I want to encourage people to step up and come up with their own fundraisers. We want to keep people interested during this ‘skip year.’”
And the Waterses will also use the time to reorganize their website, including documenting the charity’s history, past recipients and more.

“I hand out cards whenever I travel, but then people tell me they can’t get on the site,” she said. “I want to get our history out there, pictures from the previous jumps and all the articles that have been written about us.”

The website, www.pbjump.com, will also have updates on events, contests and more.

“We look forward to seeing you again on Feb. 20, 2021,” she said.

Polar Bear Jump Cancelled For 2020; Will Return in 2021
Waters Sponsor T-Shirt Contest To Continue Fundraising

Polar Bear Jump Cancelled

For 2020; Will Return in ’21

Brenda Waters, Milford, and Jay Murphy, Oneonta, call the Polar Bear jumpers out onto the ice to line up before taking the 2017 plunge.

MILFORD – The 25th annual Polar Bear jump, scheduled for February 2020, has been cancelled, founder Brenda Waters announced today.

“We regret to inform all of our loyal supporters that the 25th annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump has been canceled do to a recent motor-vehicle accident involving Brenda and Jamie Waters,” she wrote on the group’s Facebook page this evening.

“Goody, The Waters Family and all of our dedicated volunteers will miss the brave and loyal jumpers this year,” the post said. “We look forward to seeing you again on Feb. 20, 2021.”

WARM HEARTS – COLD EVERYTHING ELSE

WARM HEARTS – COLD EVERYTHING ELSE

Wyatt Waters, son of event organizer Brenda and Jamie Waters made not one, but two belly-flopping runs during the 2019 Polar Bear Jump on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Morgan Dutcher, Milford, takes her turn in the ice cold water of Good- year Lake.
Above, Tim Reese, Oneonta, a member of the Troop C Dive team, hands Jon Savoie, Cooperstown, his shoes, which he lost in his swim.

 

Oneonta friends Luke Moran and John Ellis make their jump together.

 

Ruby Wright, a past recipient, came dressed as a polar bear to cheer on the jumpers with mom, Kristen.

 

County Rep. Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, joins friend Dan Buttermann in the hot tub following their “jump into election season.”

 

 

COOPERSTOWN AND AROUND Jan 1 2019

COOPERSTOWN AND AROUND

The Freeman’s Journal – Among attendees at the Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump Chinese auction Sunday, Jan. 27, at Milford Central, was Ruby Wright, 2, of Worcester, a beneficiary of the 2017 jump. How’s she doing? “Great!” said dad Van.

150-Plus
Head To Debates
At Energy Summit

COOPERSTOWN

It’s exploded like, well, a gusher.
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce “Energy Summit” Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga has expanded from six to nine hours, and

Cooperstown Locals

Cooperstown LOCALS
Jan 30 – Feb 1, 2019

Milford Gym Filled With Polar Jump Fans As Annual Auction Raises Funds For Plunge

Ava Brockert, 2, and her mother Kali, Milford, look for prizes to be won at the annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump’s Chinese auction on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Milford Central School.  Below, Polar Bear Jump organizer Jamie Waters mans the ticket booth alongside Devin Kiser, Milford. All the money raised from the auction will go to help this year’s Polar Bear Jump recipients.

 

 

COOPERSTOWN – Kenneth Kellerman, a 90-year-old resident of Cooperstown Center, has found his calling.
Calling Bingo. A Cooperstown native, Kellerman has been at Cooperstown Center for over a year, but hadn’t been participating in many activities. Rose sat down with him to look over offerings he might be interested in, and when she told him about Bingo, he requested to call, as he had done at another facility.  When she said he could, he agreed to start attending Bingo, and has attended games weekly to call.

 

JEFF IS BACK!

Jim Kevlin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Jeff Wanke of Oneonta, a popular and helpful manager at Cooperstown’s Price Chopper, is back on the job Wednesday, Jan. 23 receiving congratulations from well wishers after a medical leave.

 

Security-Guard’s Death Prompts Bassett To Give Away CO Detectors

COOPERSTOWN – Having lost one of their own – Wade Bostwick, a Milford resident and well-liked security guard who died Saturday, Nov. 24, a victim of carbon-monoxide poison – the Bassett Hospital community is taking steps to prevent it from happening again.
Working with Kidde, the fire-safety products manufacturer, the healthcare network has arranged to provide carbon-monoxide detectors free to anyone who might need one, Executive Vice President & COO Ronette Wiley announced.
Department heads will be coordinating distribution in the next few weeks.
Since Bostwick’s passing, “We have had a number of patients who have required treatment for this,” said Wiley in a message to employees. “With our bitter cold and snow, this is the time of the year where there is an increased danger.”
She pointed out carbon monoxide “is an odorless and colorless gas that can build up indoors and poison people and animals who unknowingly breathe it in. This gas comes from fumes produced when fuel is burned in lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, and furnaces.”

 

Winter Fun: Jump Auction, Richfield Events, Winterfest

Winter Fun: Jump Auction, Richfield Events, Winterfest

Help support the annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump and maybe take home some great prizes! The annual Chinese Auction allows you to raise funds for local families struggling with chronic illnesses – all without having to jump in a freezing cold lake. 12:30 p.m.; drawing begins at 2:30. Sunday, Jan. 27, Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info (607) 286-7101.

Just because it’s snowy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! In Richfield Springs, the annual Winter Carnival

Polar Jump To Aid 2 Volunteers

Polar Bear Jump

To Aid 2 Volunteers

By LIBBY CUDMORE

MILFORD CENTER – This year, the jumpers at the 24th annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump will be taking the plunge on Saturday, Feb. 16 to help two of their own.
Christina Freeland, a longtime volunteer for the annual event, was recently diagnosed with HyperEosinophilia Syndrome, a very rare blood disease that affects the immune system and all vital organs.
Complications from the disease and treatment, including sepsis, kept her at Bassett Hospital for most of 2018, and continued complications and side effects make daily tasks, including walking, difficult.
Another longtime volunteer, Jason Ogden, a retired New York City police officer and a first responder on 9/11 was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer) in April 2017, had his left kidney removed. But the cancer spread to his lungs, liver and spine, and he is currently going through chemo and radiation treatments.

DOZENS PLUNGE FOR GOOD CAUSE

DOZENS PLUNGE

FOR GOOD CAUSE

Foot Of Ice Ideal For Goodyear Jump

Just because Mataiah Waters, daughter of Goodyear Polar Bear Jump founders Jamie and Brenda Waters, has been taking the plunge since age 3 doesn’t make the shock any less. She jumped today with boyfriend Mike Strenck of Milford. For more than a quarter-century, the annual jump has been raising funds for ailing children. Some 200 jumpers were prepared to take the leap today. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB.17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB.17

Frozen Fun

14-19eventspage

POLAR BEAR JUMP – 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Residents jump in a frozen lake to raise money to support local children, adults, organizations. This year the reciptient will be the Oneonta YMCA. Goodyear Lake, Portlandville. Call 607-432-4500 or visit www.facebook.com/TheOtsegoCountyChamber/

FROZEN TOES RACE – 10:30 a.m. Frozen Toes 5 mile race on the outdoor hiking trail. Cost, $20/person. Registration 9-10 a.m. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-2800 or visit www.clarksportscenter.com/events/2018-frozen-toes-5-miler/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JAN. 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JAN. 28

Polar Bear Jump Auction

14-19eventspage

AUCTION – 12:30 p.m. Support the 2018 Polar Bear Jump. Drawing begins 2:30 p.m. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St., Milford. Call 607-286-3349 or visit www.web.milfordcentral.org

SUNDAY PROGRAM – 2:30 p.m. “Notes from the Field” introduces children to life on an Archaeological Dig. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/

230 Take To The Water In Polar Bear Jump ’17

Mercury In Mid ’50s

For 230 ‘Polar Bears’

For the first time in a long time, the water was colder than the air at the 21st annual Polar Bear Jump at Goodyear Lake this afternoon. Under the watchful eyes of the state police Troop C Dive Team, over 230 jumpers braved icy water to help raise money to help ten local recipients . Above, event organizer Brenda Waters, Milford, and Jay Murphy, Oneonta, call the jumpers out onto the ice to line up before taking the plunge.  Left, Christopher Vun swims as fast as he can towards the ladder out of the lake. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB. 18
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB. 18

Support This Years

Polar Bear Jumpers

14-19eventspage

POLAR BEAR JUMP – 12:30 p.m. Come spectate on people jumping in a freezing lake to support local children, individuals, and organizations in need. Goodyear Lake, Outside Portlandville, St. Hwy. 28, Oneonta. Info, www.thisiscooperstown.com/events/goodyear-lake-22nd-annual-polar-bear-jump

FROZEN TOE RACE – 10:30 a.m. 5 Mile race held regardless of weather conditions. Entry, $35. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Info, www.clarksportscenter.com

PERFORMANCE – 7:30 p.m. Local and regional talent perform Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” Ballroom Gallery of the Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown Village Library. Info, www.cooperstownart.com/special-events.html or call (607)547-9777

Polar Bear Plunge Overcomes Thaw

Polar Bear Plunge

Overcomes Thaw

Fresh from their dive Ed and Stacey Stevens, Trout Creek, get a high-five from Goody on their victory lap to the hot tubs.
Despite temperatures pushing 60, Goodyear Lake was cold enough for Ed and Stacey Stevens, Trout Creek, get a high-five from Goody, the Polar Bear Jump mascot, on their victory dash to the hot tub.  The 21st jump drew 260 jumpers, which may have been a result of uncertainty about the warm weather.  Also, co-organizer Brenda Waters said, some may have been deterred by last year’s below-zero temperatures.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CLICK HERE FOR SLIDE SHOW OF 21ST POLAR PLUNGE
Ice 8 Inches Thick On Goodyear Lake, Assuring Polar Bear Jump On Feb. 20

Ice 8 Inches Thick On Goodyear Lake,

Assuring Polar Bear Jump On Feb. 20

polar bear lotoGOODYEAR LAKE – Jamie Waters was fishing on Goodyear Lake this weekend, and reports the ice is 8 inches thick, assuring the annual Polar Bear Jump will proceed normally on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Waters, who, with wife Brenda, founded the event 20 years ago and continues to organize it, reminds fans the Chinese auction to benefit the jump is this Sunday, Jan. 31, at Milford Central School.  The auction begins at 12:30 and the drawing is at 2:30.

Polar Bear Visit Brings Warm Hugs to Springbrook

Polar Bear Visit Brings 

Warm Hugs to Springbrook

Springbrook has been named as one of the recipients of this year's Polar Bear Jump! In appreciations, Springbrook students, including Matt Wagner, left, Franklin, decorated donation boxes and presented them to Goody, the jump's mascot, at a pep-rally this afternoon at Springbrooks main campus. Patricia Kennedy, center, Chief Executive Officer at Springbrook, challenged Seth Haigt t take the plunge next month, but it remains to be seen if that challenge will be accepted! (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
At a pep rally this morning at the main campus, Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy, center, announced that Springbrook is one of this year’s recipients of funds raised by the brave Goodyear Lake Polar Bear jumpers.  In appreciation, Springbrook students, including Matt Wagner, left, Franklin, decorated donation boxes and presented them to Goody, the jump’s mascot, with plenty of hugs, high-fives and dancing.  Kennedy challenged deputy executive director Seth Haight to take the icy plunge on Saturday, Feb. 20. (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)

 

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