Olcott Polar Bear swim will hit the water on May 23

The first round of adults dive in the waters of Lake Ontario during the Polar Bear Swim for Sight at Olcott Beach in 2017. Organizers say this year’s later event will still feature chilly water temps. (File photo)

Just a little bit behind schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olcott Lions Club has announced that the 52nd annual Olcott Polar Bear “Swim for Sight” will take place on May 23.

Olcott Lions President Eoin Walsh said that because of Covid safety procedures the swim will be much different this year, but one tradition is certain to be the same, “even in May the water is cold.” The average May water temperature is in the 40s.

To reduce congestion and avoid crowding, the swim will be scheduled over a two-hour period from about noon to 2 p.m. Participants are asked to register online in advance and will be given a time for their entry into the water.

Swim organizer, Bill Clark, says that “swimmers will check-in at the Lions pavilion in Krull Park and receive a time when they should proceed to the beach. Swimmers will go to the beach in small groups and can take a helper to the beach with them.

More information is available at www.swimforsight.com and the Olcott Polar Bear Swim Facebook page. The ‘Swim for Sight’ is a fundraising event that supports Lion’s vision programs and community services. Participants who raise $50 will receive a Polar Bear T-Shirt, those donating $150 also receive a Polar Bear hoodie and $500 fundraisers receive a swim jacket. The minimum swim contribution is $25.

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