Jumping gems

Published on January 21st, 2011 5:46 pm


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The Flying Flamingos Gone Wild take a flying leap (ROY CORRAL, Alaska Newspapers

Robert Brockman, a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage Psychology Team, makes a splashy entry at the 2010 Annual Polar Bear Plunge (ROY CORRAL, Alaska Newspapers


Fun facts from previous Polar Bear Jump-Offs throughout the years

• The first Polar Bear Jump-off took place in 1986. Seventeen brave souls leaped into 42 degree water, and $6,500 was raised for the American Cancer Society.

• Remember how you used to want to tell your teacher to take a flying leap into the bay? Well, high school principal Jim Fredrickson did just that in 1986. "A principal's job gets pretty heated at times," he said. "I've been thinking about it as a way to cool off."

• Brrr! It was brutally cold in 1989, with temps hovering around 9 degrees and wind chill at minus 31. Still, 12 jumpers braved the elements to raise $6,450.

• It wasn't much warmer in 1996, with the thermostat stuck at 12 degrees. Forty-one jumping summoned up their courage including Rotary exchange students, the Keystone Cops and the Energizer Bunny (he kept going and going and going, until he hit the water, that is).

• Former Gov. Hickel's son Dr. Jack Hickel performed "mock" surgery on his wife, removing many odd objects including a dead fish before carrying her into the cold, cold bay. What a guy.

• The Frozen Assets won the costume contest in 2000 wearing bright pink outfits complete with (I'm blushing) plastic pink derrieres.

• The first hair cut-off in 2002 raised 46 feet of hair to be donated for wigs and hairpieces for children going through chemotherapy.

• The 20th anniversary plunge in 2005 brought a marriage proposal, and Jerry Washburn won the oyster slurping contest in 7.62 seconds.

Seward Phoenix Log Staff can be reached at critchie@alaskanewspapers.com, or by phone at 907-224-3972

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