For eight years, Pam Kemper has been organizing a New Year’s Day Polar Plunge in her Mineral, Virginia, community to raise funds for charity. The LKA Polar Plunge has grown every year, starting with four jumpers and $500 raised in 2009 to the 2016 Polar Plunge with 21 jumpers who raised more than $13,000. It’s become a community celebration for each New Year’s holiday.

Several years into the plunge, Anne Graves, an original jumper, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the Polar Plunge redirected its donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. In Anne’s honor, her husband, granddaughter and son-in-law dive in each year. Anne’s daughter, Kelly, is an avid supporter of the jump as well.

In 2017, the LKA Polar Plunge’s 8th year, new jumpers include those who have been personally touched by pancreatic cancer, including Pam herself – who will be jumping for family members including her recently-diagnosed cousin.

“So often you feel helpless in the fight against cancer. This event gives us a fun and rewarding way to make a difference and raises the spirits of everyone involved,” says Pam, highlighting the passion of the LKA Polar Plunge jumpers.

A Polar Plunge is an adventurous Wage Hope My Way fundraising challenge during the holiday season. Try these cool tips to raise funds in your winter wonderland!

  • For coastal dwellers, host a sandcastle or snowman-building contest! Create a Wage Hope My Way page to collect donations to participate and ask local businesses to donate prizes.
  • Planning an office holiday party? Make it a party with a purpose – add a fundraising challenge for each department. Ask management about making a matching gift as well.
  • Kids can Wage Hope, too! Set up a winter version of a lemonade stand and serve hot cocoa for donations.
  • Host a neighborhood holiday bake sale, with proceeds benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
  • Throw an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party! Have guests vote on a winner with donations – whoever raises the most for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network wins!
  • Are you crafty? Start a gift-wrapping service and ask for donations. You can do this with a Wage Hope My Way page!
  • Organize a skate-a-thon – friends and families can donate for every lap you take or hour you skate!
  • Have a December or January birthday? Create your own celebration page – donate the day to raising funds in lieu of presents. For the holidays, give (and ask for) donations instead of gifts.

And keep your eye on the calendar: If you’re planning a Super Bowl Party, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring family and friends together for football and fundraising. Or for Valentine’s Day the following week, celebrate with a tribute page to honor a loved one.

That’s the beauty of Wage Hope My Way – whatever the season, whatever the occasion, you can make a personal impact, helping us move toward doubling survival by 2020. We can’t do it without you. See how easy it is!