January 2009

Making a Difference
The Lakeview Polar Bear Club's 8th Annual polar plunge was the best event we've had yet.  Bethany Cunningham was smiling down on us from heaven as she brought in 58 degree weather and 213 crazy polar bears to join us in the freezing water.  Even though the weather was great and the ice was melted, the water temperature was still a very polar bear-esque 33 degrees.  As for donations, we had a record setting year and should be able to offer substantial help to the Cunningham family.  On top of the wonderful weather, the record turnout, and the generous fundraising, we were also blessed with an added bonus of media coverage.  The plunge attracted camera crews from ABC, CBS, WGN and a whole gaggle of journalism students from Northwestern.  On top of that, here is a piece done by MouthPieceSports. We also were mentioned in the Chicago Tribune, TimeOut Chicago, the RedEye and I believe on Q101.9. Most importantly, the event is growing because of word-of-mouth. Therefore, keep up the good work and we all look forward to seeing everyone back again next year - and everyone should bring a friend.

The LPBC would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past 8 great years and this includes every person who has made the trip to Chicago, jumped in the lake, sat on the ice, been sprayed down with a hose, donated to the families, joined us at the after party, and generally was a part of this event.  We've needed everyone single one of you to make this work.

Also, we would like to thank our sponsors for their support of our event, specifically:  Amerprise Financial and Yelp.com.  These sponsors donate their time and resources to ensure that this is the Premier polar bear club event in Chicago.  The LPBC would also like to thank the companies who donated raffle prizes to help make our after party an enjoyable outing, specifically:  AirTran Airways, Allen Brothers, Patagonia, Flora, HBO, Goose Island - Wrigleyville, the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bulls, and the Chicago Blackhawks.  With their help we have reached a larger audience that we thought possible and in the future we can continue to help out more families like Katy, Sean and Bethany Cunningham.

I would also like to thank my extended family: my brother Kevin, my parents Dale and Rose, and all my friends, cousins, aunts & uncles who have made the trip to Chicago to support the insanity.  I would also like to thank my beautiful girlfriend, Patricia MacHannaford.   Without her support, patience and understanding we couldn't pull this off.  Last but definitely not least, I would like to thank the new Board of Directors for the Lakeview Polar Bear Club:  Alan Treuthart, Julie Bewley, Patricia MacHannaford, and Rose Marchal.  Your support and ideas keep us focused on the big picture and will lead us to bigger and better places.  Thank you for being a part of this.