By Madison Fisler Lewis
Feb. 27, 2015. Appalachian State University’s Duck Pond was once again the venue of choice for the annual Polar Plunge event held on Thursday, Feb. 26. Sponsored 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 annually at 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.
This year’s event raised more than $7,000 for the Watauga County Special Olympics athletes, despite the heavy snow on the ground.
According to results released by Watauga County Department of Parks and Recreation, the total amount raised this year was $7,310. To date, the event has raised much more than $100,000 for the Watauga County Special Olympics program and the participating athletes.
The top fundraising group this year was ASU ROTC with $1,726, while the top fundraising individual was Toby Ragan with $350. The total donations from all other plungers was $1,734, and corporate sponsorships accounted for $3,850, according to the Watauga County Department of Parks and Recreation
There were 162 total plungers this year, up from 120 participants in 2014.
The winners the the most extreme costumes were Lawson Huggins, who jumped dressed as a penguin; and Gabby Khoury, who came dressed as an angel.
Corporate sponsors for this year’s Polar Plunge event were Smart Products, Boone Optimist Club, Enterline & Russell, Tweetsie Railroad, Hampton’s Body shop and gift certificate donations were made by Outback Steakhouse.
Photos by Sarah Weiffenbach