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Polar Plunge 2018 Makes A COLD Splash

Fund Raising Event Held At Dow Family YMCA

February 24, 2018       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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That annual mid-winter treat returned to the Dow Family YMCA in downtown Bay City. Special Olympics staged their annual fundraising event to the delight... of the spectators. The plungers seemed to have fun too, but they sure looked COLD!

This year 75 "plungers" brave the windy walk around the "Y" to get to the platform and pool. The looked like a summer beach party crowd with their gaudy costumes and bare feet. The first in line did pretty well. The ones at the tail end, around where the wind came off the river and around the building... maybe not so good.

Jumpers climbed the wooden steps to their fate in pairs. Their faces and antics were cheerful as they approached the edge of the platform. The large pool of water looked so inviting, and the master of the event back inside HAD said: "you'll enjoy that 80-degree water". But looking to the ladder on the far side of the pool, and the State Police dive team members in their heavy dry suits, may not have instilled quite the same sense of well being.

Each pair did their best version of "big air", as they've been saying on the Winter Olympics coverage. Then they hit the water and disappeared into a huge splash. Even the dive team guys were turning their heads to avoid that cold spray.

When the plunger's heads emerged from the pool again the large crowd of spectators was treated to the best, and most shocked, facial expressions of the day. As they gasped for breath and scrambled up the ladder and down to the parking lot, each jumper was greeted by a volunteer with a large blue towel donated by Saganing Eagles Landing Casino. It was a nice towel, but the faces still looked cold as the plungers ran for the door leading into the Y's shower room.

Shedding their once fine costumes, now just cold and wet burdens, the plungers changed into the warm duds they had brought and reassembled in the large meeting room. There the volunteers had laid out large cups of hot chicken noodle soup, plenty of "wrap" sandwiches, boneless chicken wings (both sweet and hot), condiments, and hot chocolate.

The event was well worth the time. Besides having a really good time, the jumpers raised about $17,000 for Special Olympics. Those who participated in earlier jumps often said they had forgotten just how cold that water was. But everyone said it was fun and they look forward to another mid-winter dip next year.

Special Olympics Michigan Inc. (SOMI) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for over 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes build physical fitness, develop self-confidence and prepare for participation in society. SOMI is a non-profit organization supported almost entirely by corporate and individual gifts, and events. The generosity of Michigan organizations, individuals, and statewide businesses enable the program to continue.

King of the day with his daughter.

Can't get in there quick enough

Signing up.

They're feeling good BEFORE they get wet.

She's got her Bucket List... and she won the trophy for oldest jumper for the day

Do they really want to claim him?

Winnie the Pooh team

50-50 Ticket volunteers did about $200 in sales.

Room full of plungers BEFORE they got wet and cold.

He won the trophy for the best makeup. No kiddin! That's great work.

The Chemical Bank Sheriff is ready to take the bank robber in.

Getting a picture BEFORE jumping was a really good idea.

Costume parade heads out to the jump zone.

He's in good spirits now. Wait for the water.

What, these guys again?

When the State Police Dive Team is dressed that warmly, the jumpers may think twice.

First in tests the water, so to speak.

Bank robbers making a leap for it.

Now that's the spirit.

That souvenir towel from Saganing Casino was really welcome at this point.

OK, she can scratch two off her bucket list.

Nice duds.

Even in the dry suit, that water is cold on the face.

Making a show for his audience.

Is she changing her mind?

Thanks to the Partners! They make the event possible.

It is a test, or just hazing for cadets from Delta College's Police training course.

Hey, great form.

OH, he looks COLD!


Great Form

Great Splash

And the last jumper says "nothing to it"

SHE jumped. He got one of those "Too Chicken" shirts.

SELFIE! We Made It!

The Polar Plunge web site told the story. Final total was larger.

That chicken noodle soup may be considered first aid after that leap.

Nothing like a cool dip to work up an appetite.

Couldn't do it without the sponsors.

And the Trophies are given out.

Trophy for Oldest Plunger. And she scratched TWO off her bucket list.

And for those who didn't jump, $10 got them their own recognition.

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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