Court members are responsible for raising funds for TLC, a local camp that gives kids with disabilities like type 1 diabetes, down syndrome and epilepsy a chance to have the quintessential summer experience — camp. At Texas Lions Camp, traditional camp activities like horseback riding, shooting archery and rock climbing are easily modified so it is accessible to every camper and accommodates their unique skill sets.
In December, there will be a crowning ceremony for the Polar Bear Court. There, the man and woman who garnered the most donations will be crowned the 2021 Polar Bear King and Queen.
This year’s king’s court is made up of Ben Garner, Ken Stoepel Ford; John Eads, TLC; Kent Basinger, TLC and Preifert Fence Company ; Stephen Mabry, TLC; Tom Blase, TLC; Wes Carr, TLC; and Mike Huff, TLC and Broadway National Bank.
Garner, who is the current president of the Kerrville Host Lions Club, was born and raised in Kerrville. He wants to help raise awareness to TLC’s mission by being a part of the 2021 Polar Bear Court.
“I hope to use this campaign to not only raise money but also awareness of the Texas Lions Camp and what a wonderful service it provides right here in our backyard. I can’t wait to get freezing cold for the cause,” he said.
Blase’s roots with TLC can be traced back to the 1960s — during his time there, he served as camp counselor, unit leader and water safety instructor. He even met his wife, Sherrilyn, at Texas Lions Camp, where she too was a counselor.
Members of the queen’s court are Amy Bolin, J Bowlin Security; Jenn Sandlin, TLC; Rose Bradshaw, So Fast Printing and TLC; Rose Kemp, TLC; Terry Hawkins, TLC; and Trish Wilson, TLC.
For Bolin, the slide to support TLC is personal — her older brother came to the camp as a child when he was in a wheelchair.
“I wasn’t born yet, but I remember my parents telling stories about how wonderful the camp was,” she said. “I never imagined that I would one day reside in the same town where it was located, nor that I would have the privilege of being a part of something so great and helping others in the process.”
Wilson, a 12-year veteran at TLC, says it’s an honor to be part of the 2021 Polar Bear Court.
“I am ready to raise some serious money to impact more lives for the better in the summers to come,” she said.
Funds from the Polar Bear Plunge will benefit a capital campaign designed to provide new and improved facilities, which will ensure that Texas Lions Camp will continue to be a place of growth, freedom and love for generations to come.
Included in the campaign is updating the original bunkhouses, which are still in use by campers and are 70 years old.
The Polar Bear Plunge will take place at Mo-Ranch on Jan. 1.
Awards will be given to the individual who raised the most money, the team who raised the most money, biggest splash, longest ride, oldest polar bear, polar bear with the best costume and the polar bear furthest from home.
To date, over $370,000 has been raised for local non-profits from this event.
Previous Polar Bear Plunge beneficiaries include Partners in Ministry, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Star Ranch, Hill Country College Fund, Christian Assistance Ministry, Kid’s Advocacy Place, Habitat for Humanity, K-Star, BCFS Health and Human Services, Hill Country Crisis Council, Kerr County United Way, The Salvation Army of Kerrville, Kerr County Young Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, West Kerr County Youth Sports and Hill Country Youth Ranch.
Now’s the time to register for this amazing event. We encourage our local community to be bold & get cold for a great charity.
For more information on how to become a slider for the Mo-Ranch Polar Bear Plunge, contact Jenna Carpenter at 800.460.4401 ext. 224, or go to our website, moranch.org/polarbearplunge.