Good ideas are waiting to take root
Rocking the Boat
Last weekend was another great Polar Bear Jumpoff Festival. Since the event was created over 27 years ago, volunteers have raised over $2 million to fight cancer, a most worthy cause. What was once an idea back in the 1980s has become a well known, well supported tradition spawning other similar winter jumpoffs around the state.
Our hats are off to the 300 volunteers and jumpers. The local Seward and Bear Creek fire and ambulance corps, the SeaLife Center, KFQD, Liberty Theater, Steve Lemme, Tony’s Bar, city, 100 donators, 150 jumpers, and many others didn’t just spend the day jumping or attending events. Their volunteer efforts included months of planning. Again, as in the many years past, Marilyn Sutherland was the lead coordinator. The tireless efforts of Sutherland and the volunteers is a significant statement that this community comes together in the dead of winter to make our community a better place to live by demonstrating that fighting cancer helps keep the community’s identity clean and pure. Our waters may be cold, but our hearts are warm.
The winter months are long. Spring and summer seem a long way off. For residents the winter is a good time to reflect on ideas that might work, might make the community a better place, and might take root. Much of what we have today took seed during these cold winter months, from corrections and technical training to marine research. All it took was a little coordination and little volunteer effort to get the idea going. The community is quick to spot a good idea and eager to work together. Spring Creek, AVTEC, the SeaLife Center, and even the designation of All-American City were volunteer efforts just as the Polar Bear Festival is today. All of these ideas worked.
And, yes, our good ideas have often been imitated by our sister communities. There are other correctional, research, and vocational training facilities in other parts of the state. We have often have been the first out of the chute. We think that are many other good ideas amongst us that might take root, might work. We just don’t know what they are and won’t know what they are until the first citizen steps forward and convinces us that it’s a good idea just as the first Jumpoff organizers did 28 years ago.