Young, old – and certainly bold – kicked off the New Year and new decade by making waves with an ice cold splash during the 7th annual Stansbury Ice Breaker, formerly known as the “Polar Plunge.”
Tooele Valley’s most intrepid took to the docks of the local lake on Wednesday to start their New Year with a deep freeze by diving into the freezing water. Some were clad in extravagant costumes, from luchador to leprechaun, as a testament to the theatrics of the community event.
Hot coffee was donated by local Salt Flats Coffee Company and music was provided by the North Tooele Fire District spokesperson Jon Smith, who also doubled as the event emcee, ushering jumpers along to the docks and otherwise assisting in keeping the event moving along.
NTFD firefighters monitored the event on the docks and along the ice to help the jumpers if needed. NTFD also brought an emergency mobile unit so that the jumpers could take a hot shower to warm up after their plunge.
The event, which also doubles as a fundraiser, has grown considerably over the past several years, said Bridgette Toone, who operates local non-profit Stansbury Park Community Events with her husband, Kent Toone. The non-profit is the originator and regular host of the Ice Breaker event.
“A private donor pays a certain dollar amount every year based on the number of jumpers that we have registered,” Toone said.
“This year, the donor is donating $5 for every jumper to the New Life Christian Fellowship in Tooele,” she said. “They’re a community pantry and closet. We are also accepting donations of clothing and food to donate there as well.”
This year, there were 123 participants, raising $615 for the New Life Christian Fellowship. According to Bridgett, her and Kent run the organization out of a love for the community.
“We hold these community events to bring everyone together,” she said.
“We think everyone should know their neighbor, but that’s also just how our community is anyway,” Toone said. “We host this event and we also host the annual easter egg hunt, Stansbury Days, and the Kids Marketplace. The community is why we do it.”