"[The Big Chill] is a great way to get out and have some fun in the community and see some crazy costumes while people jump into the river," Wilder said. "There's not too many opportunities you have to see businesses come together and do a team building experience jumping into the river with their coworkers. It's just an all around, fun family event that all ages can enjoy."
New this year is the Poker Bear Express. From 5 to 9 p.m., participants will take their $10 Poker Bear Express ticket to six Baldwinsville establishments, Lake Effect, Edgewater, Pizza Man, Fireside Inn, Mohegan Manor and Badlands, to put together the best poker hand (wild cards will be available for $5). Winners of the 50/50 pot will be announced at 9:30 p.m. Saturday evening at the Fireside Inn.
Proceeds from the Big Chill benefit Cystic Fibrosis, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY and the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce. Last year's event netted more than $12,000.
"We hope to really knock that [figure] out of the ballpark this year," Wilder said.
Sponsors include Channel 3 News, 93Q, Empower Federal Credit union and Syracuse Home Association.
"Without these sponsorships, we could not put on such an event," Wilder said.
Tickets for Friday's Vino-Casino can be purchased at the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce office, the Red Mill Inn or the Canal Walk Caf (c). Registration for the Polar Bear Plunge will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday Jan. 28 at the Fireside Inn. At this time, all donations are due. After registering their team members, corporate plungers will receive a plunge time for the event. All plungers will receive a plunge T-shirt for their participation.
For more information, call the chamber office at 638-0550, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit baldwinsvillechamber.com.
Corporate challengers from C&R Supply get pumped up before heading into the river.