The Courage Brothers' Polar Bear Dip

The Courage Brothers' Polar Bear Dip

December 26, 2008 10:02 ET

The 24th Annual Courage Brothers' Polar Bear Dip for World Vision

Proceeds to benefit water projects in Rwanda

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 26, 2008) -

Attention: Assignment/Photo/City Editors

Five hundred dippers are expected to brave Lake Ontario's icy waters at Oakville's Coronation Park again this year during the 24th annual Courage Brothers' Polar Bear Dip for World Vision, an event that has become a Greater Toronto Area New Year's Day tradition. More than $380,000 has been raised to provide clean water in developing countries since the first dip in 1985.

The event, which began when local businessmen Todd and Trent Courage jumped into Lake Ontario in Burlington, is now Canada's largest charitable polar bear dip - attracting 500 dippers and 5,000 spectators each year.

"Our event has raised more than $380,000 in recent years for World Vision's life-saving water programs," says Trent Courage. "This year we will have 500 participants ready to dive into icy water to raise funds to construct water systems in the Umutara region of Rwanda."

The Courage brothers and friends hope to raise a minimum of $60,000 with the 2009 event. The proceeds will be used to drill boreholes, install wells, collect rainwater for irrigation, and train the community how to protect their vital water resources.

The event's festival-like atmosphere, with live music, costumes and celebrities (including Rick Mercer of CBC's Mercer Report), drew more than 450 participants and 5,000 spectators to Coronation Park in Oakville on January 1, 2008.

"Access to clean drinking water is a basic right for all children, whether they live in Rwanda or in the GTA," said Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada. "We are so encouraged by the hundreds of GTA residents who brave Lake Ontario to make sure Rwandan children can exercise that right."

WHEN:  New Year's Day, Thursday January 1, 2009

WHERE: Coronation Park, Oakville, Ontario
       Lakeshore Road between 3rd and 4th Line

WHAT:  12:30 p.m.  Registration begins (dippers receive a swag bag from 
                   our sponsors along with a t-shirt and certificate)
                   Live band performs on main stage
       1:00 p.m.   Regional Chair of Halton welcomes visitors 
                   Oakville Member of Parliament brings greetings 
                   from the Prime Minister
       1:30 p.m.   Pre-dip interview availability (Todd Courage, 
                   Trent Courage, Michael Messenger, VP of Public Affairs 
                   at World Vision)
                   Please register at media table to ensure interview
       1:45 p.m.   Costume Contest
       1:55 p.m.   Prize Draws
       2:00 p.m.   Polar Bear Dip begins - Tom Cochrane leads countdown 
                   to dip

All Participants:

- With the $25 registration fee, will receive a t-shirt, and a membership certificate

- With every $100 raised, will receive a ballot for a chance to win prizes

- Will be eligible to win prizes for the best individual costume and the best group costume

The event's registration form can be downloaded by visiting the following link:

For more information about Tom Cochrane, please visit:

For more information, visit

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