CLEAR LAKE | More than 200 people dove into the icy waters of Clear Lake Sunday afternoon to support two local charities during the annual Polar Bear Club.
The event — in its 20th year — raised about $10,500, before expenses, for the area chapters of Toys for Tots and the Make-A-Wish of North Iowa.
“We’re excited about it,” said Alice Hanley, an accounts manager at Alpha Media Radio Stations of Mason City, which hosts the event with sponsors annually.
This year’s Polar Bear Club, which is held during the annual Christmas by the Lake, brought in less money and fewer dippers than the past two years, despite a warmer air temperature.
“It’s still money that was not there before for the kids,” she said.
In 2016, the event raised $13,000 with more than 300 individuals participating, and in 2015, the event brought in $12,000 with about 200 participants.
Hanley said Alpha Media Radio Stations “very, very much appreciates” the assistance provided by the local fire department, police department and emergency medical technicians as well as other volunteers during the event.
“It’s great to have all the help,” she said.
Proceeds from The Polar Bear Club will be divided between Toys for Tots and the Make-A-Wish of North Iowa.