After 17 years of bone-chilling, New Year’s Day fun, it’s looking like this year’s Williams Lake Polar Bear Swim will be taking a hiatus.
Brad Bulow, Polar Bear Swim director with the Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club — the organization who’s put on the swim since its inauguration in 2001 — said due to prior holiday commitments this year he wasn’t able to organize the event.
The club put it out there for any group or individual to take over this year’s swim several months ago, however, weren’t able to find any suitors.
“It’s too bad. It was a nice event and it’s been like a staple in Williams Lake,” Bulow said. “I think maybe people will miss it this year, and it’s unfortunate, but sometimes you need that to appreciate the things you have. Who knows, maybe there will be a boisterous turnout next year?”
Bulow said unless a ragtag group of individuals or organization can scramble something together by New Year’s Day, the swim is looking like a no-go for 2018.
“There could still be time for me to at least give someone enough information to scramble and get something together but I don’t think it would be the same at this point,” he said.
“You’d probably want at least five solid people to organize it. One to head it up and then about four others to rely upon. I’ve got a to-do list I’ve used for the past six years I’d be willing to share.”
In past years the swim had been used as a fundraiser for youth rugby in the community.
“I’ve been willing to help and I’m saddened it’s not happening this year,” Bulow said. “I didn’t want to be the lynch pin for that.”
That said, he’s still willing to help make the event possible.
At this point, he said the best way to get a hold of someone from the Rustlers would be to visit its Facebook page by searching “Williams Lake Rustlers,” or to contact club secretary Roy Argue by e-mailing email@example.com.