RELEASE: Peterborough students, principal do polar plunge (UPDATED)

RELEASE: Peterborough students, principal do polar plunge (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Due to heavy (and freezing) rains forecasted for this morning, the polar plunge is being pushed back by three hours, to 2:00PM today (Friday Jan. 26)

Peterborough, Ontario, January 25, 2024 – At the end of November, Dr. John Jalsevac, the headmaster of Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School (OLWCS), a K-12 classical liberal arts school located in Peterborough, Ontario, made a bold promise: if the school community could raise $50,000 for the school by New Year’s Eve, he and outgoing board chair Frank Callaghan would take a polar plunge in Little Lake…in January. 

For a while it looked like he might not have to follow through with the commitment; on the morning of December 31st, they were still a few thousand dollars short of the goal. 

But by late morning, they had met and even surpassed the goal. “We kept refreshing the screen to see if we made it!” said Maria, a mother at the school. “It was down to the wire.”

Thanks to the success of the campaign, the school, known for academic rigor and spiritual vitality, experienced its greatest surge in new donors in its 28-year history. And the donations are going twice as far, as the school is in the midst of a $150,000 matching campaign. 

“People believe in this school,” said Jalsevac. “They love the school and want it to thrive. That’s why we’re doing this. That’s why we’re willing to jump in frigid waters, in Peterborough, in January. We love the school that much.” 

Jalsevac extended an invitation to Wayside high school students to join in taking the plunge. Just like the matching donors, the students are matching their headmaster’s enthusiasm for the school and taking the plunge with him. 

“Jumping in a lake in January might seem crazy,” said grade 9 student Isaiah. “But Wayside really is a special school. I’ve done polar plunges a couple of times in the past, but never in January. I’m actually looking forward to it. Not only will I earn bragging rights, but I know I’m helping an amazing cause at the same time.”

Wayside’s donor matching campaign continues to run until June 30th, during which time all donations to the school are doubled. 

Press are invited to cover the event. 

Polar Plunge Date: Friday, January 26

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Beavermead Park in Peterborough  

About Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School

OLWCS is a private K-12 school in Peterborough that seeks to offer families a rich, well-rounded education in the Catholic classical liberal arts tradition for their children. Joy, formation in virtue, education for life, vibrant extracurricular activities and athletic opportunities all merge to offer a high quality educational experience, leading students to be formed as lifelong learners, rooted in the encounter with Christ. For more information:   

For more information:
Dr. John Jalsevac
Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School
[email protected]

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