January 1, 2010

A great day for a (very brief) swim (for a good cause)

First one into the lake is ... gonna be cold!

The 20th annual Splash and Dash -- sometimes known as the Polar Bear Plunge -- went off without a hitch today at North Beach.

Hundreds braved the cold air -- about 17 degrees (10 degrees colder than last year when the splash was cancelled due to dangerous ice on and off-shore) -- and the icy waters of Lake Michigan, at least for a few seconds. The event started at noon with hundreds lined up near a 15-ft-wide cut in the ice along the shore, counted down the last few seconds and then rushed about 30 feet into the water, turned around and rushed out again.

By 10 minutes after the hour, the event was over, except for laggards on the beach trying to strip off their wet bathing suits with a modicum of decorum under blankets, and find dry shoes for the walk to the car and a quick ride home -- um, or to a nearby watering hole for a bracing, and well-deserved New Year's Day libation.

Rescue personnel on the beach said there were no injuries, save for a few skin scrapes. The event raises about $20,000 annually for the Racine County Food Bank and HALO (Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization).

Note to self for next year: I ran into Racine District 1 Alderman Jeff Coe at the beach -- warmly dressed. He said this was the first time he'd been to the event, and I was unable to talk him into even dipping a toe into the water. BUT he said he'd do it next year, if he's able to raise about $5,000 in pledges. "I'll ask each councilman for $100," he said, promising to start fund-raising this summer. John Heckenlively, who was standing nearby, came up with the perfect fund-raising slogan: "Throw Jeff in the lake." Something to look forward to next year!

'Hey, Mom, look I'm on the internet!'

I yelled, 'Hey, Cinderella, turn around' -- and they did!

Doesn't look as though that hat kept her very warm...

Firefighters, who started Splash and Dash, continue to keep it safe

This pink bikini only kept the guys warm...

Penguin snappy dresser in this year's tie-dye souvenir t-shirt

Big Bird reminds everyone what the event is all about

Mike Moore of the JT has a nice story HERE.


  1. Peg & Lou's Crew1/02/2010 8:41 AM

    Peg and Lou's crew was there in full force....A total of over $1600 was raised by patrons and employees alike...A formal challenge to raise the most next year is on.....Come on Bar and business owners.... Let's see what you got....

  2. I'll just mail a check, brrrr.

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  5. Pete - how about posting some bikini shots instead of these fat guys.

  6. Check out www.racinetube.com to hear the Fat Guys story.

  7. Kevin - no thanks, I've seen more than enough of these fat guys on this site.