It's back this winter and will be celebrating 20 years of charity in the Treasure Valley: Boise's 'Polar Bear Challenge'!

Every year, the bravest, the boldest, and the coldest show up to Lucky Peak for what is by far, the coldest few minutes of their entire year. On a countdown from 10 seconds, hundreds of Polar Bear Challengers run into the marina at Lucky Peak, take a cold dip, and run right back out to their towels, heated blankets, or frankly: their cars!

The greatest staple to this entire event has always been two-fold: Larry Gebert and Make-a-Wish of Idaho.

Proceeds from the annual event go to benefit one of Idaho's most cherished local charities-- Make-a-Wish. The organization grants thousands of dollars in wishes each year for children fighting serious illness and fund are spent only IN Idaho and FOR Idahoans. It's a very special and impactful work.

Of course, the promotion, passion, and fame behind this event often came from a legendary Treasure Valley weatherman: the late Larry Gebert.

The Treasure Valley was shocked earlier this year when the news broke of Gebert's passing--he was a familiar voice and face that gave all he had to making everyone he met feel special, heard, and important. Local television has not been, and never will be, the same since his passing.

Last year, winter conditions prevented the Polar Bear Challenge from happening--however, we recall in the final hours, Larry Gebert drove out to the marina himself just to give it one final check for safety--something that was never a part of his job description. Larry believed in the event and most importantly, the cause: Make-A-Wish Idaho.

This year will be the first without Larry and many can't imagine it. Event organizers have decided to name the event after Gebert and the event's original founder, Gary Arbaugh.

The event will also be celebrating its 20th year.

There will be a Larry Gebert inspired Mustache competition, so do something crazy--and make Larry proud!

Want to join the event? Here are the details: 

  • The event will take place on January 1st at Spring Shores Marina at 11:00 a.m.
  • Registration opens at 10:00 a.m.
  • Costume & Mustache contest takes place at 10:30 a.m.
  • The plunge will happen at 11:00 a.m.

Click here to learn more, register, or sponsor a participant! 

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