New Years Dip in Lake Willoughby - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New Years Dip in Lake Willoughby

Westmore, Vermont - January 1, 2007

New Years Day at Lake Willoughby. Not exactly the kind of weather most people go for a swim.

But when it's for a good cause, 38 people decided to take a dip.

"It was very cold... it was stinging," said one participant.

Monday marked the 4th annual Lake Willoughby Dip, a chilly event meant to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

"Five and a half years ago I lost a brother to cancer... someone who was in perfect health. And once he got cancer, he only lasted a couple of months. And I was just so put out by that how fast cancer could take you away, the only thing I could do was to help raise money to fight it," said Fred LaFerriere, organizer of the Lake Willoughby New Yeard Day Dip.

And raise money they have. This year's Dip has already raised more than $15,000.

Participants came from all over the area, and as far away as Florida.

"The people here supported our hurricane victims last year, so I feel that this would be a payback to come up here and support the people of Vermont through the Cancer Foundation," said Tom Caffrey, a Florida native who has a ski house in Vermont.

Last year, dippers had to face ice.... This year, it's the wind that was the problem.

"It was fantastic. The water's warmer than the air, so may as well stay in there," said Leo Merchant, a Dip participant from St. Johnsbury.

In there? Why.... That would be well.... A little crazy, maybe?

"You don't have to be crazy... but it helps."

A chilly way to help raise money for a good cause.

Alex Martin - Channel 3 News

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