Taking the fifth (Polar Bear Plunge, that is) to welcome 2012

    5-year-old Jazz Graham of Edmonds shows his New Year's spirit for his first Polar Bear Plunge Sunday.
    Carolyn LaFave and Valerie Claypool outside Daphne's before the walk to the beach.
    The crowd rushes in at precisely 1 p.m.

    Twenty-six members of the Edmonds Uplift Society joined dozens of other hardy souls at Brackett’s Landing Sunday afternoon for the fifth annual Edmonds Polar Bear Plunge. It was a relatively balmy 47 degrees for the dip — a good 20 degrees warmer than last year’s plunge.

    Keeping with tradition, Uplift Society members dressed in their official terry robes crowded into Daphne’s Bar to sing “God Bless America” before making the walk down to the beach. Daphne’s owner Brian Taylor, who co-founded the event with his wife Louise Favier, was on hand to present gold-ribbon sashes to inaugural Uplift Society members who were celebrating their fifth year.

    Taylor said that 19 returning and seven new society members participated this year, with proceeds from the registrations donated to the Edmonds Historical Museum. Among this year’s new members were Mitch and Deb Mundy, recent transplants to Edmonds, who had already planned their strategy for the dip — “He’s going first,” Deb said. Society member Holly O’Donnell of Edmonds brought along her 9-year-old daughter Sophia, who decided to try the plunge for the first time this year.

    Since the event is open to anyone, Uplift Society members were joined by dozens of other people at Brackett’s Landing to welcome in the new year with a rush into the water, some lively splashing, then a quick exit to dry land and towels.

    After a short stay, everyone heads back for dry land.


    9-year-old Sophia O'Donnell -- with friend Anna Fjortoft for moral support -- is ready to take her first dip this year.
    Mitch and Deb Mundy are first-year members of the Uplift Society.
    Inaugural society members Gabe Hodges and Jonathan Kellow were honored with gold sashes.

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