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Tuesday May 5th, 2015 7:21AM

LCKC hosts polar bear swimmers for 17th time

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - Despite less than enjoyable water conditions, they come back year after year.

Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club hosted the 17th annual Polar Bear Swim in Hall County Wednesday. The fund raiser event draws a diverse crowd each year to the Lake Lanier Olympic Center.

"It was awesome. We might do it again," a group of four first-time jumpers, who wanted to be known as the 2014 Girls, told WDUN's Luke Story.

Barry and Zoe Balentine and Will Henderson took the jump as well.

"It felt good, it felt good."

Story asked what they would compare the jump to.

"Being stabbed in the chest and you can't breathe."

Jeff Vermilya, a first-year participant, was also on hand. Why did he do it?

"Why not, that's my question. I saw it and said, 'I got to do that.' I've been wanting to do it for a few years, and nobody would come do it with me, so I just came on my own this year."

The swimmers enjoy a hot tub dip to warm up after the jump. There's also fellowship and food.

Perennial polar bear swimmer, Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann, was also on hand for the noon event.
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