Polar dip to benefit Camp Sunshine

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PORTLAND — The fifth annual polar dip to benefit Camp Sunshine, Freezin’ for a Reason, is set for noon on Saturday, Feb. 11, at East End Beach.

Participants will plunge into the chilly waters of Casco Bay to raise money to help send more families to Camp Sunshine, a national retreat in Casco, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

New this year, participants are encouraged to create a plunge team of four or more people, consisting of co-workers and classmates and from civic groups or places of worship.

Each individual participant is encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges for Camp Sunshine and those who do will receive an “I DID IT!” T-shirt. All proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine. To pledge online and for more information on the event, visit www.freezinforareason.com. East End beach is at the base of Portland’s Eastern Promenade. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the plunge set for noon.

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The goal is to raise $25,000 — enough to fund more than a dozen additional families at Camp Sunshine.

“The reality of this event is that the discomfort our plungers feel for just a moment will never compare to what our families go through during the course of their child’s illness,” said Michael Smith, director of Special Events at Camp Sunshine. “We call it Freezin’ for a Reason.”

Nestled on the shore of Sebago Lake, Camp Sunshine offers children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a place to relax for a week and to take a break from the extraordinary demands placed on them.

The year-round program is free of charge to the families and staffed almost entirely by volunteers. It is the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family.

Since Camp Sunshine opened in 1984, it has provided a haven for more than 32,000 family members from 48 states and 22 countries. To support Camp Sunshine, call (207) 655-3800 or visit www.campsunshine.org.

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