Who is ready to freeze for a reason?
More than 100 people are expected to jump into the chilly waters of Reston's Lake Anne on Saturday at the fifth annual Freezin' for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip.
The event helps raise money for Camp Sunshine, a residential camp in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses. Polar Plunges are held in 11 locations on the East Coast. The Reston event was
Jennifer is now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Nursing studying to become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner. She wants to work with kids going through what she did many years ago, said Gail Toth. She will participating in the Polar Dip and bringing some fellow Penn students with her.
"We are absolutely thrilled and amazed at how much this event has grown since the first one four years ago," said Gail Toth. "We are honored to be able to help other families that have a child with a life-threatening illness. We know firsthand what that does to a family, having gone through it with our daughter's cancer 16 years ago.
"A week at Camp Sunshine can be a life-changing experience for them like it was for us. We also appreciate the community's support of the event, their willingness to jump into freezing water in the middle of winter, and their generous donations."
The 2011 jump - which raised a record $84,000 for Camp Sunshine - was truly freezing as the safety crew had to break up in thick ice in order for participants to jump into Lake Anne. And jump they did - some in costumes, others in swimsuits - as snow and freezing rain fell.
With temperatures expected in the 60s most of this week and a high of 51 on Saturday, the scene might not be as wintry, but will still be lively. Mix 107.3 DJ Chilli Amar will be among the jumpers, along with several Lake Anne merchants and Reston Association board member Mike Collins.
Since 2008, 295 people have participated in the Virginia Polar Dip, raising over $156,500 for the camp, which is free of charge for the families.
This year’s goal is to raise $100,000, which will allow 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic area to come to Camp Sunshine, event organizers say. Through pledges or self-sponsorship, each participant will pay a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to plunge into the frigid waters. There is also a "chicken dip" for those who do not want to jump all the way in the water. The event is free for spectators.
The event is sponsored by David Madison Photography, , Mix 107.3 FM, and Spotted MP Marketing & Public Relations.
Additionally, several Lake Anne Plaza merchants will offer discounts at the event, which runs from noon till 2 p.m.
will host complimentary Virginia Craft Beer tastings of Williamsburg Ale Works & Port City brews.
Jasmine Cafe will offer a special brunch from 11 to 3 p.m. Ten percent of Saturday's restaurant proceeds will go to Camp Sunshine. Space is limited. Make your reservation at (703) 471-9114
will donate $5 from the sale of souvenir sweatshirt on Saturday to Camp Sunshine.
and will offer 10 percent of all proceeds Saturday to Camp Sunshine. Baby Blossom will also have kids' activities inside the store.
Lake Anne's daycare TLC 4 Kids will host an Open House during Freezin' for a Reason. There will be kids activities, snacks, and hot chocolate provided.
For more information, visit www.freezinforareason.com.