J-j-j-j-jump right in! Jim Sofie’s Polar Bear Club is warming up to take its 21st annual icy dip into Lake Wenatchee on New Year’s Day.
The “Winter Group Dip” happens at 2 p.m. at Lake Wenatchee State Park.
Last year’s event attracted 150 intrepid dippers and more than 100 spectators. Some dippers, including Sofie, himself, hurl themselves from a small boat dock into the 36-degree waters, others run in along the boat launch. Participants don’t have to be club members.
A retired Burlington Northern yardmaster, Sofie, 79, lives at nearby Fish Lake. He started the Polar Bear Club in 1992.
Sofie’s always recruiting new members, who must take the dip three times between Dec. 1 and March to join. Members have the privilege of paying $10 for a club T-shirt. Sofie buys all the shirts and funds the event with his own cash — about $500/year — for the fun of it. He takes the dip every Friday and says he can help newbies prepare for the big, group dip.
“Recruitment takes time,” he said in a news release. “I make the sacrifice because I’m dedicated to bringing the pleasures of ‘polar bearing’ to local folks.”
He adds, “It would be safe to say that agreeing to join this elite organization requires a lot of courage.”
Each participant will receive a free, hot bowl of chili after the dip at the Squirrel Tree Restaurant. All vehicles must display a $30 annual Discover Pass to park near the event or pay for a $10 daily pass. The parking lot isn’t very big, he says, so participants should arrive early.
For more information, contact Sofie at 763-2197 or email@example.com.
Three in a row for Moen Congratulations to Entiat writer, wine maker, beer brewer and general renaissance man, Alan Moen for winning the Hagadone Directories’ regional photo contest cover for the third year in a row.
His prize entry, “Fall on the Entiat River, will adorn the cover of the 2013 Hagadone “black book” phone book, which will be out in January.
“My wife and I were on a hike up the Entiat River,” says Moen of the day he captured the winning shot. “As we were coming down, there was this gorgeous spot. The light was just glowing. I told her I was going to take a photo and that it was going to win the contest, and it won!”
Moen, 64, takes pictures to go with the freelance stories he writes about craft beer and wine making. He edits Northwest Brewing News, a bimonthly magazine and website featuring the region’s craft brews and brewers. Moen earned a master’s of Fine Arts degree from Central Washington University and taught college-level art.
He’s lived in the Entiat Valley for 13 years. Coeur d’Alene-based Hagadone will award him a $500 gift certificate for his photo.
Snatched from the jaws Richard Ehrenberg of Wenatchee said he was able to slam his little 1957 Nash Metropolitan into reverse just in time to escape the outstretched jaws of Dino, La Plaza Wenatchee’s landmark triceratops. The picture he snapped of the giant lizard with his classic car made it into the pages of the December issue of Met Gazette, a magazine published by the Metropolitan Owners Club of North America.
“We thought the photo would create some smiles,” said Ehrenberg in the magazine. He and his wife Shirley are familiar sights in their pair of Mets. His in turquoise and hers, a 1959, in yellow. The couple were the longtime owners of Wenatchee business Miniblinds & More.
Eye of Sauron Local thespians and frolicsome co-conspirators TJ Farrell and Nicole Villacres have created an hysterical video spoof of The World’s own video road trip around the new Highway 97A roundabout. Click here to check it out.
This week’s Worm was compiled by reporter Christine Pratt. Got a tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.