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Area residents take part in annual Polar Bear Jump

2/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

NEW FRANKLIN — Milder temperatures welcomed jumpers and spectators to the 11th annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump at Portage Lakes State Park Feb. 22.

Shown above are both jumpers and supporters at the event that invites area residents to jump into the ice-cold waters of Turkeyfoot Lake to raise funds for various charities.

According to Kelly Pariso, one of the event organizers, a record 900 jumpers helped raise $100,000 for Camp Quality Ohio, located in New Franklin, and the Ronald McDonald House of Akron.

“I knew we had the potential,” said Pariso. “I am so excited for our charities. Ronald McDonald House of Akron and Camp Quality Ohio are so deserving, and I am pumped they helped us hit this milestone.”

Pariso, who is pictured at right bottom welcoming all to the jump, noted special thanks goes to FirstEnergy and Kisling, Nestico & Redick for raising $18,000 and $17,000, respectively.

Members of the New Franklin Fire Department are shown below suited up and in the water as they watch two jumpers take the plunge in support of the charities.

Another jumper included Mogadore resident Pat Conant, who is pictured at right top reacting after coming out of the frigid water.

— By Maria Lindsay

Photos: Lew Stamp

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