A group from Venture Commercial Realty took the plunge into chilly Okanagan Lake Wednesday in support of mental health.
Miriam Halpenny, the creative team lead for Venture Commercial, says the idea came together as a way to help support the community.
In 2021, the team did the dip and raised a total of $700 for the Canadian Mental Health Association in Kelowna.
"This year we had a little bit more time to plan so we wanted to do it again. We are hoping it is going to be an annual thing now. We challenged some other community members and others who worked on Bernard Ave. and we got a group of 14 people to jump in with us," Halpenny said.
To date, this year's polar bear dip has raised a little over $1,000.
"It was my first time doing a polar dip and it was honestly quite terrifying. I think jumping in was more fun than trying to get out. It was bone-chilling. I couldn't even move my muscles."
Although a little scared to brave the cold, Halpenny says it was all worth it.
"Everyone knows right now with the pandemic it is really important to raise awareness about mental health, especially right now. I think people are just feeling really tired of social isolation. That is a big thing that contributes to mental health."
"We just really wanted people to know it is OK to talk about it because there is still that stigma around it. We wanted to get out there and raise awareness for the great things that CMHA does," Halpenny added.
CMHA Kelowna provides support for families and individuals through programs that promote positive mental health and support recovery. To donate, click here.