Polar Bear Dip participants race into the chilly waters at Port Angeles Harbor’s Hollywood Beach on New Years Day in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Polar Bear Dip participants race into the chilly waters at Port Angeles Harbor’s Hollywood Beach on New Years Day in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Plunge time: Polar Bear Dip set for New Year’s morning

It’s time once again to take the plunge for a cause.

The 32-annual Port Angeles Polar Bear Dip returns to Port Angeles’ Hollywood Beach on Wednesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, with dozens of peninsula locals and visitors braving the chilly waters for the official 10 a.m. start.

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC) and Red Lion Inn will be on site that morning with complimentary warm beverages and pastries.

This is the eighth year the event serves as a VHOCC fundraiser.

Debbie Crumb, daughter of Volunteer Hospice founder Rose Crumb, is planning to dip in honor of her mother and father T.L. “Red” Crumb.

New VHOCC executive director JooRi Jun announced she’s taking the plunge for donations.

Dan Welden will take part in the chilly tradition for the 32nd year. “It’s about getting the craziest thing you’ll do all year out of the way the very first day,” he said.

VHOCC president Dr. Tim Guthrie said cold water plunges have some health benefits.

“The sudden immersion in cold water causes a rapid increase in blood flow through the arteries and white blood cells ‘demarginate,’ leaving their usual hang-out near the artery wall and moving into the active blood flow,” Guthrie said.

“This is thought to give a real boost to your immune response.”

Learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to donate at the VHOCC booth at the event.

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County has more than 200 volunteers, a nursing staff of 11 and a small administrative staff of three to serve a patient base of 135, plus many more clients in the grief support programs.

VHOCC also offers a Lending Closet of medical equipment to the community.

All services provided by VHOCC are free of charge.

Donations to VHOCC via the Polar Bear Dip can be made online (specify Polar Bear Dip in the “Anything else” section), by mail (VHOCC, 829 E. Eighth St., Port Angeles, 98362), at the office or at the event itself.

Call Welden at 360-477-2586 for more information.

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