The annual fundraising campaign the Polar Bear Challenge has brought in thousands for local and national health care providers.

Each year volunteers dive in the waters of a frozen Head Lake as the grand finale of the Polar Bear Challenge with the challenge being raising pledges for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services or the Hospital for Sick Children’s Garron Family Cancer Centre.

Although the recipient of the funds changes year to year, the goal is the same. According to Andrea Mueller, the Recreation Programs coordinator in Dysart et al, the 2019 Polar Bear Challenge managed to raise over $8,000 for the organizations. Marilyn Frost, a member of the Haliburton Lion’s Club tells that the majority of pledges were directed to HHHS.

Mueller says that the Frost Festival as a whole was well attended, adding that one of the people to get involved in the challenge was from Australia. In terms of the work put into the festival, there was a collective 100 plus volunteer hours sunk into the event.

Frost Festival and the Polar Bear Challenge are expected to be back in winter 2020.