It was cold enough Saturday, Feb. 6, for the 17th annual Polar Plunge, so Area 1 Special Olympics fundraising teams turned out to take the plunge at Crowley’s Ridge State Park in return for $12,783.26 in pledges raised so far.
“I think it went pretty well,” said Area 1 Director Vonnie Greer on Monday, “especially considering all the COVID concerns.”
Area 1 includes the counties of Lawrence, Greene, Clay, Randolph, Fulton, and Sharp.
And the fundraising is still going on, according to Greer.
“We’ve had three virtual plunges so far,” she said. “You are still able to do a virtual plunge through March. Just raise at least a minimum of $50 per person. You can plunge into a pond, into a pool, get squirted with a water hose, take an ice-cold bath, or take the ‘ice bucket challenge.’ Get creative.”
Greer added that anyone wishing to do a virtual plunge should make a video of the plunge and contact her so she can pick up the money and post the plunge. Last date for a virtual plunge is March 31.
A total of eight teams and two individuals participated altogether in the Polar Plunge last weekend. The in-person teams included representatives from:
Lawrence County Cooperative School
Walcott Baptist Church
Paragould Fraternal Order of Police
Greene County Tech Intermediate School
The virtual teams included the Piggott Mohawks and the Schalk Girls.
The event had originally been scheduled for Jan. 30. The location (the swimming area in Crowley’s Ridge State Park) was the same as for last year, but the procedure changed due to COVID-19 concerns. Registration went from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. but upon registration, teams and individuals immediately took the plunge without waiting for a formal start time.
The top fundraising total for a team was $5,663.23, by the Piggott Mohawks, who competed virtually. Top total by an individual for this year’s Plunge was $1,325 by Wesley Hathcoat, who participated virtually.
In addition, the Lawrence County Cooperative School won the award for the best team costumes.
Greer also said an online auction had raised another $1,800 for the Polar Plunge.
“There are still teams that have money to turn in,” she said. “And people can still donate.”
Next year’s event is scheduled to take place Jan. 29, 2021 at the Lake Walcott Swimming Area.