Giving Focus: CedarWorks Takes the Plunge

Community/Giving  |  5 years ago

Giving Focus: CedarWorks Takes the Plunge

CedarWorks is a generous company filled with kindhearted people. We support a number of local causes and events, especially those that focus on kids. As a playset company, we believe in kids and in the importance of active outdoor play. Usually our support takes the form of sponsoring an event or donating playset equipment. In one instance this winter, however, our spirit of giving took a very different form.

Maybe it was the long Maine winter. Maybe we wear our hats a little too tight, or maybe we forgot them one too many times, and the parts of the brain that are supposed to be in charge of rational decision-making temporarily froze. Whatever the reason, a team from CedarWorks signed up to do the Polar Plunge fundraising event earlier this month.

The Polar Plunge is part of Camden, Maine’s annual Winterfest event, a weeklong festival that features ice sculpture carving, street performances, and other activities. If you live in a place that gets winter weather and has large open bodies of water, you may be familiar with the idea of a polar plunge. If not, it’s pretty much just what you think it is: a crowd of people running full tilt into freezing water (and even fuller tilt back out). In this case it was into the ocean, which in Maine is cold even in summer, and is unbearable in February. The morning of the Plunge was particularly cold with air temperatures in the teens. Volunteers used sticks and shovels to push floating ice blocks out of the way for the plungers. Spectators, still chilled even bundled in layers lined the harbor to watch. Members of the fire department stood by in dive suits in case anyone needed rescue. To anyone present that morning, jumping in the ocean seemed like a truly terrible idea, but somehow dozens of people, including eight brave CedarWorkers stripped down to bathing suits and plunged bravely into the harbor, submerged themselves, and ran back out to cheers (as well as blankets and towels and outdoor heaters).

Brave or foolish, it was for a good cause, as all funds raised through entry fees and sponsorships went to Sundog Outdoor Expeditions (, a great local organization that encourages kids to get outside and experience outdoor adventures like rock climbing and backcountry skiing. Any donations made on behalf of the CedarWorks plungers were matched by CedarWorks, so those of us CedarWorkers who wanted to participate without actually jumping in the ocean (which was most of us), sponsored a plunger and, all told, we raised $3000! That’s enough to warm your heart, even after plunging into the ocean.

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