River Hospital kept the ultimate frozen fundraising tradition alive again by hosting the Virtual Polar Bear Dip during the month of February. Once again, the generosity of the community helped surpass the original goal of $50,000, to raise over $68,000 to support the purchase of cardiopulmonary monitors for River Hospital’s Emergency Department.
“We are thrilled to announce that the goal for the Virtual Polar Bear Dip has been surpassed and a total of $68,396 has been raised! The Virtual Dip was a way for the Hospital and Community to have some fun during a time when we need it the most, all while raising money for an important cause”, said Stephanie Weiss, Executive Director of Development.
The proceeds from the Polar Bear Dip are integral in furthering the mission of River Hospital, and this year’s funds are earmarked for the purchase of cardiopulmonary monitors to be installed in two of River Hospital’s emergency room bays.
“The new Philips cardiopulmonary monitors will provide much-needed state-of-the-art monitoring for our increasing number of patients,” says Mindy Hunter, RN, River Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer. “River Hospital’s response to COVID has offered a good example of why real-time patient monitoring is essential to securing positive patient outcomes. On a daily basis we find ourselves needing to monitor multiple patients at the same time, which requires additional monitoring capacity.”
37 Dippers submitted videos, showcasing the various ways the community decided to dip this year. The submissions were compiled into one video and judged on funds raised, dip technique, and costume. The grand finale of the virtual dip was held via Zoom on Saturday February 26th.
The winners for the top fundraising, dip technique, and costume are:
• Top Fundraising Team: Team ER
• Top Fundraising Adult: Justin Rydberg
• Top Fundraising Child: Katie and the Johnson Circus
• Best Dip technique Team: Team Huguenot
• Best Dip technique Adult: Justin Rydberg
• Best Dip technique Child: Carson Brownell
• Best Costume Team: Sister Act
• Best Costume Adult: The Freezin’ Bee’s Knees
• Best Costume Child: Katie and the Johnson Circus
Alex Hazard, past Polar Bear Dip judge and local television host/Community Relations Specialist at WWTI ABC50 emceed the event. Judges included: Wayne Strauss, River Hospital volunteer and former Financial Advisor, Lynn Brown, River Hospital Board Member, and Rebecca Hopfinger, Antique Boat Museum Executive Director.
“The Polar Bear Dip has been helping River Hospital succeed for decades,” Weiss remarked. “By being able to host the event virtually again this year, not only were we able to keep the tradition alive, but we were able to secure the funding needed for new equipment for our Emergency Department. We are so incredibly grateful for each donation, dipper, judge, and sponsor for their unwavering dedication to the Polar Bear Dip and River Hospital!”
Team Huguenot gathered to watch the live River Hospital Virtual Polar Bear Dip judging event. The team took home the trophy for best dip technique.