Sun and Smiles Lakeside New Years Day 2016

Spirits were high as several costumed revelers added to the outlandishness of a day where we eat brunch outdoors in freezing weather and plunge into frigid waters. Fuzz Hill out did himself, as he does every year. I didn't think he could top the year he came in a diaper as the New Year’s baby, but he did. He wrapped himself up as a present this year complete with gold pants, a blond wig and a big gold hair bow. Julie, his wife, was elementary as Sherlock Holmes. Frances Snowder, a newer and most helpful Angle Lake resident, was a purrfect, wild leopard kitty and Deb Anderson set a new height of elegance and ‘not' understated presence in her towering feathered hat and leopard coat. Jennifer Fish, our YMCA yoga teacher,  was resplendent as an Indian Princess and I was our mascot polar bear. We had a handsomely kilted gentleman, a young cow, a clown, several Seahawks fans, a patriotic birthday cake and more that set the tone of zaniness.

Best of all, everyone responded generously to our request to replenish the Highline Food Bank. In sun and smiles one hundred and seven neighbors gathered lakeside January 1st to ring in the New Year, polar bear style!  It was the best Angle Lake Polar Plunge yet! Gorgeous blue skies and a crisp air temperature of 38 degrees made the lake seem balmy at 42 degrees. Sixteen super-humans charged into the chilly waters at the stroke of noon cheered by 91 onlookers. Everyone enjoyed a scrumptious brunch of quiche, meatballs, pumpkin pie, croissant sandwiches, hot apple cider, muffins and more. 

Our wagon was overflowing with food. We gathered 240 pounds of food, double that of last year’s take of 123. We also collected $221 in cash, compared to $145 last year! 

The SeaTac fire department made an impressive show of support with five men arriving in 2 engines and 2 more arriving by boat and standing by on the dock with emergency rescue and resuscitation gear that was, thankfully, not needed. One fireman made an especially nice gesture upon parting; he handed his raffle tickets to young boys who had plunged in the lake. They watched their tickets intently as fabulous prizes were raffled, but they didn’t hold the winning numbers.

John Lucas, who set up the sound system for us, got the grand prize of a night stay at Cedarbrook Lodge. Five Angle Lake Shore club shirts were raffled off along with other fabulous prizes generously donated by local businesses: a wooden bird feeder and suet donated by Wild Birds Unlimited in Burien and 2 spa treatments and 2 dinners at Cedarbrook Lodge. The fabulous Ultimate Solutions Salon on 32nd Ave S. and S 188th St donated a haircut and style. Trader Joes supplied $35 worth of gluten free cookies and cakes for the celiacs among us to enjoy.

Deborah Anderson and Frances Snowder helped collect the food and distribute tickets and prizes. The Vennetti Twins served up food and cider and big smiles to one an all. Then they hauled all the food off to the Food Bank. The Lenz’s donated their tables and chairs even though they couldn’t make it this year. And Jonathan Standridge, firewalker, built the fire and moved heavy stuff while he, unbeknownst at the time, had pneumonia! 

So many people stayed behind to tear down and pack up that I lost track of all the helpers. But, not lost on me, was the realization that we live in a wonderful neighborhood of generous, fun loving people. So many chipped in to make this day great and to share the joy of a New Year by sharing food with the less fortunate. I am so proud and so grateful to be a part of this dynamic community.  

See all the pictures of this great day here: Polar Plunge Pics

Post by Tani Rae

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