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Appalachian State University Holds Annual Polar Plunge Event on Thursday, Feb. 26

By Madison Fisler Lewis

Feb. 24, 2015. After being rescheduled due to unfavorable weather conditions, Appalachian State University’s annual Polar Plunge event is back on track, and will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26.

polar_plunge_2015_rescheduledSponsored by Watauga County law enforcement agencies and Watauga County Parks and Recreation, the annual event strives to raise funds for the Watauga County Special Olympics athletes.

Held annual at Appalachian State’s Duck Pond, the event has become a highly-anticipated annual adventure for campus groups, clubs, Greek life and individuals hoping to make a splash during their college years.

On-site registration will be from 3-4 p.m. Feb. 26 with the event to follow. Participants are encouraged to dress up in wacky costumes and are eligible to win awards for individual and group costume ideas.

“In the years since this event started, the ASU Polar Plunge has raised well over 100,000,” said Keron Poteat of the Watauga County Parks and Recreation.

“Last year alone we raised $8,000, and we are hoping to raise even more this year.”

Currently, Ray’s Weather Service is calling for a high of 31 degrees on Thursday with possible flurries, as opposed to the frigid, below-freezing temperatures that were called for when the event was originally scheduled.

“It is supposed to be cold on Thursday, but if we had gone ahead with it last week it would have been worse,” Poteat said. “The temperatures were dangerously cold that day, so now that we have moved it, we are hoping that the number of participants is going to grow.”

Poteat mentioned one community member in particular, John Shaw, who has been especially vocal in recruiting individuals to participate in the event.

“John Shaw has been speaking to the fraternities and sororities on campus about coming out to the Polar Plunge,” she said. “Sororities and fraternities have traditionally been the bulk of the jumpers, but in recent years they have not participated as much. We are hoping that John’s efforts will encourage more to come out and jump.”

Registration for this year’s event is $25 per person or $20 per person for groups of five or more. Prizes will be award for the most extreme costume (male and female), and to the top fundraising group and individual.

The ASU Polar Plunge isn’t limited to just students. Anyone who wants to go freezin’ for a reason is welcome to participate.

“Even if you don’t want to jump in the water, spectators are always welcome to come cheer on the participants,” Poteat said. “Some of our special athletes will even be there handing out towels to the plungers.”

For more information, contact Keron Poteat at Watauga County Parks and Recreation at 828-264-9511 or keron.poteat@watgov.org.