Six Polar Bears And Two Cubs Take Icy Plunge
Annual Event Draws Large Crowd For The Pleasant Lake Event
Braving a temperature far below freezing eight members of the Pleasant Lake Polar Bear Club took their annual plunge in the waters of that lake on Monday afternoon. A crowd estimated up to 2000 had gathered all about the lake and village in anticipation of the thrills of the event. A large hole had been cut in the five-inch ice in readiness for the bathers, but this had frozen over with a thin sheet of knife sharp ice which left cuts and scratches on some of the bathers. The bathers ranged in age from four years up to nearly fifty, and they coasted down to the lake on a huge toboggan.
Two Hawaiian students, Yoshimi Sakamoto, of Lahaime Maui and Robert L. Miyaato of Honolulu, who are attending Tri-State College here, and who are at home in the waters of their native islands, joined the party this year. Sponsoring the party were John Henninger and John Gorrell, both of Pleasant Lake, who have been taking regular dips in the lake on the first Sunday of each month during 1950, the coldest experience being last March with the temperature at 15 degrees above zero. To Henninger children, Carol aged 8, and John M. aged 4, were also in the group. Others making up the intrepid group included Sgt. Richard Gorrell of the U.S. Air Force , and Frank Gorman. T
The Henninger children were brave sports, especially Carol, although little John winced quite noticeably at the chilly bath. The young men from Hawaii said they were accustomed to the water at all seasons, but this was the chilliest they had ever experienced.
There was no hesitancy or backing out of any of the participants, who declared they got real enjoyment out of the plunges which lasted about five minutes and plans are already under way for another event next New Year's Day.
Steuben Republican January 3, 1951 Page 1