Congratulations to Kelly and Heather Pariso, Founders of the annual Portage Lake Jump, and Rotary Camp's 2023 Volunteer of the Year!


The Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump, founded by the Pariso’s 20 years ago, is an annual event held on the last Saturday in February at the Portage Lake State Park. Their goal is to help local charities raise donations needed to help their organizations. They pride themselves on their mission to ‘Freeze our bodies and warm our hearts’ for the community.

Between their fundraising and marketing efforts, their annual event has grown to 600-700 participants jumping in freezing waters every year. Every other year the donations raised are alternated between the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and the following year between Akron Rotary Camp and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio.  

In 2023, $57,567 was raised for Akron Rotary Camp. Camp was chosen as a beneficiary in 2018 and has received $173,395 to help send kids to camp.  

Congratulations Heather and Kelly for 20 years of jumping in icy waters, and thank you for your dedication to Rotary Camp, and the Portage Lakes Community!