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Beach damage won't stop Olcott Polar Bears

OLCOTT — All last summer, the beach at Krull Park was closed, damaged by storms and high water levels in Lake Ontario. But nothing can stop the intrepid Polar Bears.

For the 49th year, the Polar Bear Swim for Sight — which is actually more of a dash in, dunk and flee than a swim — will happen at its traditional spot, Olcott Beach, on Sunday, March 4.

"The breakwall and the stairs and everything right at the beach are OK," said Bill Clark of the Olcott Lions Club,  lead organizer of the fun-filled fundraiser for 20 years. Niagara County Highway crews worked through the summer to repair an access road that was damaged by storms and  high water levels.

On March 4, local fire departments will sell chili and chowder from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with anyone turning in $25 getting a T-shirt, with sweatshirts and jackets given to those who raise $100 and $300, respectively.

The Polar Bear Queen contest starts at 1:45 p.m.

Polar Bear cubs,under age 18, will hit the water at 1:50 p.m., and starting at 2 p.m., groups will jump into the freezing water every 15 minutes.

Donations may be made in person on the day of the event or online beforehand at

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