By Kaitlan Morehouse
More than 150 brave individuals took the plunge into Appalachian’s frigid Duck Pond for the 18th Annual Polar Plunge on Thursday.
Of the 156 individual “Plungers,” the male and female who had the most extreme costume are Ian Black with his “Mr. Princess” get-up and Danielle Davis with her “Tigger” ensemble.
Considering 162 took the plunge last year, the $1,463 addition from last year’s total amount raised is a huge success.
The corporate sponsor for Special Olympics Watauga County SmartProducts raised $5,000, the individual “Plungers” raised $2,253 and the top fundraising group for the event ASU ROTC raised $1,520 for a grand total of $8,773 raised, compared to the $7,310 total last year.
The top fundraising individuals are Roachel Laney, Jake Harkey and Paul Krause.
One hundred percent of the nearly $9,000 will go directly to training efforts for the Special Olympics athletes of the High Country. This includes uniforms, equipment, registration fees, travel, food, medals, etc. for the athletes.
The Polar Plunge is hosted by Watauga County Law Enforcement, including ASU PD, Appalachian Regional Health Services Police, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Boone PD. The event is also hosted by Special Olympics Watauga County and Watauga County Parks and Recreation.
Local Program Coordinator Keron Poteat offers many thanks to all of the agencies and individuals responsible for helping to make the Polar Plunge a success and a special thanks to SmartProducts for its gold level sponsorship.
On Tuesday, March 22 from 5-7 p.m., Special Olympics Watauga County and Roachel Laney’s management class will host a BBQ Fundraiser, which will have a $5 minimum donation.
On Thursday, April 28 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the Special Olympics Spring Games at Watauga High School will be held.
About Special Olympics Watauga County
The Special Olympics Watauga County is a division of the Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC).
Special Olympics Watauga County offers 12 sports: alpine, aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, cycling, powerlifting, snowboarding, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
For more information, call 828-264-9511.
SONC strives to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults age 8 and up with intellectual disabilities. It also strives to give them continued opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and in sharing gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
For kids ages 2-7, it offers a Young Athletes Program.
For more information, visit the website.
Photos from the Polar Plunge by Candice Corbin: