Beckwith Township recognized as top fundraiser for Rural FASD’s Polar Plunge

Beckwith Township representatives with three Perth Polar Bear Plunge statues for top youth fundraiser, top municipality and top team. This year's plunge recipient was the Rural FASD Support Network and it was the first time for these awards to encourage participation. Jan. 12, 2024. Photo credit: Submitted/Rob More.
Posted on: January 15, 2024

Firefighters Association and top family fundraisers also from municipality


When it comes to raising money for a worthy cause, the Township of Beckwith is over the top. 

Rural FASD Network Support, the recipients of this year’s Perth Polar Plunge fundraising campaign, wanted to recognize those top fundraisers with an awards night. 

Because the top youth, team and municipality were all from Beckwith, Rob More, the chair of Rural FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Support Network, said they wanted to host an awards night in Beckwith where they were all were presented with Polar Bear Plunge statues. 

Susan Squires of Westminster Solutions IT; Dave and Mark Gainsford of Team Gainsford; Rob More, chair for Rural FASD; Coun. Erin Rose of Beckwith Township; Beckwith Reeve Richard Kidd, and the Beckwith Firefighters Association are pictured Jan. 12, 2024, during an awards event in Beckwith to recognize top contributors to this year’s Perth Polar Bear Plunge for the Rural FASD Support Network. Photo credit: Submitted/Rob More.

“The awards are new and something we decided to implement to encourage competition,” More told this publication. 

“To see the type of support for these children and adults living with FASD and their families, as represented by 472 people contributing, 144 plungers participating and raising $30,095, means the absolute world to us,” More said. “It shows the wider community of Lanark County believes we are important and deserve to be supported which gives all of us hope. For us, it is enabling us to continue maintaining our current capacity for the next six months and helping individuals living with disabilities in the counties of Lanark and Leeds-Grenville access the supports they need.”

Beckwith Township raised $7,658, with young Mark Gainsford collecting $3,870.

More said Mark rode his ATV after school for three months and knocked on his neighbours’ doors in Beckwith to help raise this incredible amount. 

The Beckwith Firefighters Association raised $1,002. 

“Beckwith Coun. Erin Rose was also the second highest adult contributor,” More said. 

Rose, a first-time councillor in Beckwith said raised $2,250, and said she was “really impressed that we had so many firefighters out.”

Rose said she’s proud of everything Beckwith accomplished. “When Rob came and presented to council and discussed his hopes of having a municipal competition for the polar plunge, I immediately wanted to do it,” she said. “Even though it’s not something I would usually do. I’m not a lover of anything cold, that’s for sure. I was happy with all the support I received, and when I asked the fire department if any of them would want to come and jump with me, there were five of them right away who were in 100 per cent.”

It was the first time for any of these six individuals to do the plunge. 

Rose said she hopes to have even more of the municipality represented next year and “I’m hoping the fire fighters get some costumes going. There was some talk of that. We have a pretty incredible fire department, that’s for sure.”

Following their plunge, Rose said all six of them were able to squeeze into the sauna. That’s when they decided to do the jump again next year, she said. “It was absolutely hilarious,” she said.

Rural FASD Support Network’s Rob More (left) presents the top fundraiser for the Perth Polar Bear Plunge, Mark Gainsford, a polar bear statue for his efforts. They are joined by Beckwith Reeve Richard Kidd, on Jan. 12, 2024 in Beckwith. Photo credit: Submitted/Rob More.

Beckwith Reeve Richard Kidd said he was proud of the municipality as a whole, but was most impressed with the volunteers who raised this money for the cause. 

“We’ve always been supportive of Rob (and the Rural FASD Support Network), and this was the first time that we’ve been involved in the Perth Polar Plunge,” Kidd told this publication. 

Kidd said he didn’t attend the day as he was watching his grandson play hockey at the Bell Canada Cup, “but from what I heard, everyone who went had a great time, and there is no doubt we’ll do it again next year.”

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News