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img_1517The 24th Annual Mo-Ranch Polar Bear Challenge kicked off on New Year’s Day at noon with live music by the Sean Kendrick Band, free food, door prizes, a costume contest and good ol’ polar bear fun. Over 300 community members made the drive to Mo-Ranch to watch 73 polar bear participants brave a slide down the Mo-Ranch water slide, straight into the chilly waters of the Guadalupe River.

Polar Bear participants slid to raise money on the behalf of Kerr County Young Life. The mission of Kerr County Young Life is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. All funds raised from this year’s event go directly towards Kerr County Young Life, ensuring that they can say “yes” to every kid who wants to go to camp in 2017.

“Mo-Ranch was honored to partner with an organization like Kerr County Young Life for this event,” said Allison Bueché, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Our missions are so closely aligned that it just made perfect sense for Young Life to be this year’s beneficiary. So many kids’ lives will be impacted here in Kerr County with the funds raised from this event.”

This year’s event was a record-breaking year, raising close to $40,000. Funds are still being totaled from online donations received. The previous record holder for the most funds raised was the Schreiner University Hill Country College Fund in 2008, raising $28,000.

Award recipients at this year’s challenge included Art Bell, oldest polar bear; biggest splash, Tommy Daniels with the Sean Kendrick Band; longest slide ride, Barry Williams; best costume, Monica, Emma, Caleb and Jordan Clayton; polar bear farthest from home, Margaret Jonas of Somerville, MA; largest fundraising team, Francisco’s Restaurant; 2017 Polar Bear King, Francisco “Paco” Espinosa; and 2017 Polar Bear Queen, Susie Hackleman, 2017.

The Polar Bear Challenge has raised close to $240,000 to-date for local non-profits. Prior Polar Bear Challenge beneficiaries include organizations such as 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 CARES, Kerr County United Way and The Salvation Army of Kerrville.

Underwriting event sponsors included Frost Bank, HEB, Hill Country Telephone Co., KPUB, Bosworth Co., Kerr County Connection, Sysco and Camp Waldemar.

For more information on how to apply to become the non-profit beneficiary for the 25th Annual Mo-Ranch Polar Bear Challenge, contact Allison Bueché at 830.238.4455 ext. 266.

For all of the event photos, click here:

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