By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A New Year’s Day tradition that dates back more than three decades in Montgomery County is designed to be a day of fun but also to raise money for a camp for deserving children.

You may have heard of the “Polar Bear plunge,” but in Norristown it’s the Ski Freeze.

 

—–

(A Port Indian water skiier on New Year's Day 2013.  File photo from CBS3)

(A Port Indian water skiier on New Year’s Day 2013. File photo from CBS3)

About a dozen members of the Port Indian Ski Club will take to the chilly waters of the Schuylkill River for a few hours of water skiing.

Club president Brian Birsa says skiers try not to get wet but most of the time they get dunked.

“You can wear a wetsuit, but expect to get a little razzing for it,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “The idea here is that you go in your bathing suit, maybe a costume, something like that.  The more outlandish the better.”

 

 

—-

(Some Port Indian water skiiers at their annual New Year's Day outing, in 2013.  File photo provided by Port Indian Ski Club)

(Some Port Indian water skiiers at their annual New Year’s Day outing, in 2013. File photo provided by Port Indian Ski Club)

Despite the warmer temperatures we’ve had recently, Birsa says the water will be cold.

“There have been years when I’ve done it when you can hear the little bits of ice crackling underneath your skis,” he recalls.  “There have been years when they’ve had to bring out a boat to break up the ice that was on the river.”

He says about a hundred people typically show up to watch.

Donations are given to Camp Rainbow, in Lower Salford, which provides an overnight camping experience to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.

The event today runs from 12 noon to 3pm.