Record Number Participate in 5th Annual Polar Bear Plunge on East End Beach; Benefits NRCM

 

Brownie Carson (C), former longtime Director of NRCM, With The May Groom and Bride, Chris Comeau and Beth Dimond, Before the Dip

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,256)

“It was a perfect day for the  Plunge.  The sky is so blue, the roads here are clear and there is no wind.  It’s nice and cold,” said Lisa Pohlman, execute director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine (“NRCM”)  This was the second year that Pohlman, who lives in Jefferson, (near Augusta,) dipped in the East End Beach to benefit the non-profit that works state-wide  to reduce climate change pollution.

A sea of people crammed the beach to watch  about 180 dippers take to the water at noon today – the warmest part of the day. (Most of them had already run the 5K race which started at 11:00 am.) The air temperature was about 34 degrees.  The sun was warm and there was no breeze which helped to mitigate the arctic atmosphere caused by high piles of snow from two recent snowstorms that left about 20 inches of snow in Portland this month.

Just prior to the Plunge, Eban Baker who participated said:  “It’s a balmy 34 degrees.”  Melissa Dore  said:  “It was really warm when we registered about a month ago!”  Michael Smith, an employee at Portland Yacht Services, dipped prior to the noon time with his son.  “We just couldn’t wait any longer,” he said.  Beth Dimond and her finance  Chris Comeau, plan to marry in May.  They decided to take this Plunge in preparation for the main event.  “If my groom does this, we’ll get married in May,” Dimond said laughing.

Jorge Mejia, of Masschusetts, took first place in the dip for his age group; 40  – 49.  It was his first time here, but he’ll be back, he promised.

Jeanne Gulnick, who dipped with her two children, Lilah  and Jonah Green, lives on Peaks Island. “This is fast becoming a New Year’s tradition for many athletes in the area,” Gulnick said.  This was her second NRCM dip.