Benefits Camp Sunshine

OXFORD — For the fifth time, area residents braved the Tred Avon River at noon Sunday, Feb. 9, to raise $15,000 for Camp Sunshine, a free retreat on Sebago Lake in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

The sun was shining, but air temperatures were in the 40s.

Organizers honored State Sen. Addie Eckhardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, who also is a registered nurse, for her five years of participation in the event.

“We took the plunge on the Tred Avon to raise funds for Camp Sunshine in Maine, a retreat for children and families with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease or hematological conditions,” Eckardt said.

“I was ‘freezing for a reason’ to support the families at all stages of their conditions,” she said.

Eckhardt said she plans to continue participating in the event in the future.

The money raised at the event at the Tred Avon Yacht Club helps children and their families attend the nonprofit, top-rated camp. Dippers run into freezing water, or for the less inclined, put their toes in the water as Chicken Dippers — all to help children have a chance at a rest and recovery camp, especially designed to meet their needs.

Participants pledged to raise $100 to be a Dipper. For this year’s Oxford Polar Dip, there were 42 participants and eight dogs ready to brave the chilly waters.

According to Camp Sunshine’s event website, this year’s six dips across the country were as follows:

The Virginia Polar Dip in Reston, Va., on Feb. 1 raised $49,940; the New Jersey Polar Dip in Long Branch, New Jersey on Feb. 8 raised $33,579; the Oxford, Maryland Polar Dip on Feb. 10 raised $15,000; the Portland Polar Dip in Portland Maine to be held Feb. 29; the Central New York Polar Dip in Durhamville, NY to be held March 7 and the Wachusett Polar Dip at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, MA to be held March 8.

Editor Connie Connolly contributed to this story.


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