Heavy turnout for Bon Soo’s Polar Plunge

Close to 200 brave souls took the plunge Saturday at Bon Soo’s Polar Plunge, the windup event of the 61st annual carnival.

“It’s been a whirlwind week,” said interim Bon Soo President, Julia Dufour. “A lot of fun. There were a lot of jumpers today and we probably had about 400 or more people at the Bushplane Museum. It was great.”

Dufour made the polar jump for the first time.

“Very cold! The water hits you and it’s like a shock. But Sault Search and Rescue is there and they are amazing. I had my toque and my flip-flops on and lost them both! They retrieved them for me,” said Dufour, laughing.

“It’s definitely a shock to the system. But then you get into the Bushplane, the band is playing and there’s drinks and snacks, it’s a great time.”

Saturday marked the fourth time Logan Kennedy, Manager of Ancillary Operations at Algoma University, has braved the chilly St. Mary’s waters for a polar splash. Her comments echoed Dufour’s.

“It is quite the experience,” says Kennedy. “As soon as you hit the ice-cold water, you can feel all of the air kinda get sucked out of your lungs, and its hard to breathe. You wanna get out really, really, badly. But as soon as you’re out, you’re fine and you think, that was such a good experience, I could do that again.”  

Algoma University sponsored the Polar Plunge event. Kennedy says it serves as a platform to raise money and canned food donations for AU’s student union food pantry. The pantry sees over 200 visitors a week and provides food support to nearly 500 people.

As of Saturday afternoon, said Kennedy, Polar Plunge had received 5,000 cans, easily surpassing last year’s total of 3,500.

Some notables from Saturday’s event:

  • The jumper who had travelled the furthest to participate was Amy Brauner of Australia.
  • The oldest male jumper was Brian Pollari, 71, who made his 51st jump Saturday.
  • The oldest female jumper was Melody Kahtava, 62.


  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

One thought on “Heavy turnout for Bon Soo’s Polar Plunge

  1. It’s a shame that there isn’t some non polluted water in the city proper to hold events like this. I hope everyone had a long hot shower with lots of lather after dunking themselves in that lovely mixture of toxic chemicals. Get ready for some related infections, ear, throat etc.
    They would have been better off jumping in a new dumpster full of clean water.

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