Most Iowans don’t even go outside without a coat during December, but about 200 people are expected to take a swim in Clear Lake Sunday to raise money for charity. The 10th annual Polar Bear Swim is being held on the final day of Clear Lake’s Christmas by the Lake Celebration.
Organizer Dalena Barz says the event has grown over the last decade. She says there were six polar bear swimmers the first year. They get a sweatshirt for taking part in the bone-chilling dip — and the satisfaction of helping two non-profit groups. Barz says they are expecting a record number of swimmers from all over Iowa to come to Clear Lake for the event.
She says one lady who’s celebrating her 50th birthday has sent out invitations for people to join her in taking a dip in the lake and many, many others from around the region are planning to make the icy splash. The event benefits two charities: the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Toys for Tots. Barz says people will not only be swimming in the lake for a good cause, but they’re also competing for one of three coveted trophies.
She says the trophies will go to the team with the most swimmers, the group that raises the most money, and to the individual that raises the most money. The Polar Bear Swim will take place on Clear Lake’s City Beach at 12:30 PM on Sunday.