February 8, 2017 — Winter in the month of January brought snowfall to the San Bernardino National Forest, along with much needed relief from southern California’s drought. Residents in the Lake Arrowhead community experienced more snowfall than usual this year, which melts and feeds into the community’s namesake body of water.

Peter Wesch, EA, and partner with Smith Marion & Company, dove headlong into the freezing Lake Arrowhead last Saturday, February 4, for the ninth annual PolaRotary Bear Plunge. Pete, along with other prominent community members and leaders, volunteered to submerge himself in the ice-cold waters as a means of raising money for Rotary Club, and charities of their choice. The Lake Arrowhead Resort (generally unused in February, due to snow on the beach) hosts the jumpers, who have collectively raised over $175,000 for Rotary and other charities in the past eight years.
The Rotary Club determines that half of the first $1000 raised goes to the Rotary Foundation, while the other half of the first $1000 goes to the charity of the jumper’s choice. All money raised above the $1000 mark goes directly to the chosen organization.

Pete’s charity of choice was Last Chance Corral, an organization that offers asylum to abandoned or unwanted horses. The horses arrive in various conditions of health, sometimes from neglect or abuse. Some are entirely healthy, but come from owners who are unable or unwilling to continue to take care of the horse properly. The care and adoption program that Last Chance Corral offers is vital to preventing the suffering and slaughter of horses without a home.

Smith Marion & Company is proud to have partners who are actively involved in their communities, and in Pete’s case, who are willing to plunge into liquid ice for the causes that they believe in.