Plungers take on the icy water in wet suits
Photo courtesy of: UCM
Student plungers attack the cold water with vim and vigor
Photo courtesy of: UCM
Jan 18, 2012
By Kyle Ranally
Ohio University's bravest will be faced with their chilliest test on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the fifth annual Ohio University Polar Bear Plunge.
The event, previously held at Strouds Run State Park, will move to Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio, which is about eight miles southwest of Athens. The location was changed due to an annual increase in participation and better parking accommodations at Lake Snowden.
Organizers have set a goal for this event to raise more than $40,000 for Special Olympics Ohio, a non-profit group that provides training and competition opportunities for approximately 23,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of $50.
"The Polar Bear Plunge is a really fun event for a great cause," said Cody Pyle, event organizer and member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. "The Special Olympics impacts the lives of many people and raising money and awareness for it feels really good. I know it sounds crazy to jump in an icy lake, but it is honestly one of the most fun events to participate in on campus. Just ask anyone who has done it before."
The Athens event is annually co-sponsored by the Ohio University Police Department and Phi Kappa Theta and is part of a statewide Polar Plunge initiative to raise money for Special Olympics Ohio.
"I would like to encourage people to participate in the event," said Cathy Hart, a communication officer for the OUPD. "It's a great cause. The real reason for doing it is to support the Special Olympics athletes."
There is a preregistration from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Buffalo Wild Wings, where teams are able to check in early and turn in any offline pledges that were collected.
For those who are not courageous enough to face the icy, cold water of Lake Snowden, a "Too Chicken to Plunge" option is also available. Through this, people are able to donate to the cause without actually jumping into the water.
For a $10 fee, participants may also attend the Post Plunge Party at Buffalo Wild Wings in uptown Athens, where prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers and top fundraising team. The year's Polar Plunge costume contest theme is "Retro." A gift card will be given to the winner.
Participants are not required to be on a team and individual plungers are welcome. To find out more or to register for this year's event, click here.
To view a slideshow from last year's event, click here.