Freezin’ for a Reason raises over $2,000 for Dundas County Youth Group

Kerissa Wardle emerges from the icy water with David Taylor. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — The Dundas County Youth Group emerged with over $2,000 in cold cash at the organization’s third annual ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ fundraiser.

The group’s version of a brief polar-bear dip sees brave souls in colourful costumes leap into a portable water vessel filled by the local fire station. Thirteen individuals took the plunge Feb. 4 outside the Dundas County Youth Group’s Fred Street headquarters.

Winchester firefighters ensured the unit — resembling a yellow wading pool — brimmed with water outside the Dundas County Youth Group’s as plungers ascended straw-bale steps and jumped in.


Group coordinator Kaitlin Herfkens delivered the play by play as the action got underway. Noticeably absent from the jumping platform this year, Herfkens — being six months pregnant — lined up husband Tony and stepson Mitchell, 5, to make the chilly splash in her place. The duo raised $210.

Eighty-year-old David Taylor, not to be confused with Marilyn Monroe in blonde wig and fire-engine-red dress, brought in the most money at $560. Abby DeJong, in Grade 6 at Winchester Public school, was recognized as wearing the most outrageous costume.

Corporate sponsors this year included the North Dundas Movie Night Committee (which donated movies passes to all plungers), Guys Fuels (donor of two hats and two blankets as prizes), Mr. mozzarella (gift card), Weagant Farm Supplies ($100 supplies), Winchester Foodland, and various prizes from Main Street Clothing and the SD&G County Library.

The event raised money for Glengarry Inter-Agency Group (GIAG) youth programs, which includes the Dundas County Youth Group that operates after-school programs for young people in Winchester, Chesterville and Morrisburg.

Participants and supporters in the third annual Freezin’ for a Reason. From left: Tony Uguccioni, Shelby Beckstead, Mitchell Uguccioni, Kaitlin Herfkens, Abby DeJong (in big hat), Carissa Howick (in front), Jeriah Smith (as Batman), Mallory Trizisky (in back with black top), Kelsey Smith, Kerissa Wardle, Tracey Armstrong, David Taylor and Kim Merkley (Bugs Bunny). Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Abby DeJong, 11, winner of the most outrageous costume award, and David Taylor, 80, top fundraiser at this year’s Freezin’ for a Reason. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Shelby Beckstead is already assisting Dundas Youth Group programs. She’s set to take over as leader in May during Coordinator Kaitlin Herfkens’ maternity leave. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News



Scroll down to share this article. Scroll down to search Scroll down to comment.