Tess Pierce will be one of many who will test the frigid waters of Lake Ontario on Jan. 1, 2018 as part of the fourth annual Polar Bear Swim, hosted by Rose of Durham and The Rotary Club of Oshawa.
“When people ask me why I do this crazy thing, I always answer ‘because it is so much fun’. But it is much more than having fun. I jump in the lake to kick-start my new year, and, more importantly, to raise money for two groups that mean a great deal to me and my community- Rose of Durham and the Rotary Club of Oshawa,” Pierce states. “The Rose and the Rotary are community organizations of which I am proud to be a part. All of the money I raise (and all the money the other swimmers raise) goes back to fund community projects these organizations sponsor.”
Both Rose of Durham and The Rotary Club of Oshawa are near and dear to Pierce.
“The Rose is important to me because I was a teen mother. I was scared and did not know what it meant to be a parent,” Pierce says. “I was one of the lucky ones. I had support from a similar organization in the States. Without organizations like the Rose, young parents can feel isolated and alone.”
Pierce is also a proud Rotarian.
“When I moved to Canada in 2008, it was the people of the Rotary Club of Oshawa who welcomed me into the community and introduced me to what it means to be Canadian,” Pierce says. “The money raised by Rotarians from events like the Polar Bear Swim, the Oshawa Ribfest, and the Walk of Fame Gala goes back into the community.
“I jump to pay it forward and I jump to be part of a community I love and to make the world a safer place to live,” she adds.
The fourth annual Polar Bear Swim takes place at Lakeview Park in Oshawa on Jan. 1, 2018 at 1 p.m.
For more information on sponsoring a swimmer, registration, or the event itself, visit facebook.com/oshawapolarbearswim, the Rose of Durham at roseofdurham.com or The Rotary Club of Oshawa at oshawarotary.ca