News: Soldiers support Polar Bear Dip in Alexandria Bay
Story by Sgt. Mark A Moore II
ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. - Temperatures were low and spirits high when more than 50 soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, “Polar Bears,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, took an icy plunge for charity during the annual Polar Bear Dip on Saturday in Alexandria Bay.
“It feels great to support a polar bear-themed event and support the North Country,” said Lt. Col. Roland Dicks, 4-31 Infantry commander. “This event is really about the Polar Bears supporting our great North Country, team building, and giving back to a community that gives us so much.”
In the spirit of giving, the Polar Bears raised more than $4,500 to be donated to the River Hospital Endowment Fund.
One jumper, adorned in a red onesie topped with a polar bear hat, tried to bring positive attention to his unit.
“It’s good to bring attention to the unit and make sure people know we are here and are supporting the hospital,” said Spc. David Navarro. “That’s why I wanted to dress like a polar bear … embrace the polar bear!”
This is Navarro’s second and last polar bear dip here in North Country. He will permanently change duty stations this summer, and he wanted to leave his brethren with words of encouragement for next year.
“Keep the ‘Polar Bears’ coming every year. Keep the tradition; the name calls us,” Navarro said. “Why not be polar bears every year?”
In all, 195 individuals braved the cold St. Lawrence River to raise $60,000 in support of River Hospital.