PARKERSBURG - "Freezin' for a Reason" lived up to its title as the second annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics West Virginia more than doubled the funds raised from the first event, an official said.
"This year was really fantastic," said event organizer Cheryl Baxter.
About $8,000 was raised by 44 people who took the plunge into a pool of frigid water on Feb. 8 in City Park where the temperature hovered in the mid 20s, according to John Corbett, CEO of Special Olympics West Virginia.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Brett McNabb and John Hudson, employees with Bowles Rice in Parkersburg, won the Best Costume award for portraying the Super Mario Brother Mario, red, and Luigi, green, on Feb. 8 during the second annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Plunge for Special Olympics West Virginia in Parkersburg City Park.
The amount raised this year is more than double last year's roughly $3,700, although there were just three more participants, Baxter said.
"It is amazing how much more was raised even though there weren't that many more plungers," she added.
Although this year's event is barely a week passed, Baxter said she and her committee of fellow volunteers have started looking at next year's plunge.
"We had a meeting a few days ago and are already planning next year's event," she said. "We are looking at a few things we didn't do this year and would like to try."
Despite the relatively similar turnout between the two years, Baxter hopes for more participants next year after comments and feedback from people at this year's plunge.
"Interest seems to have increased tremendously," she said. "Even though there were 44 plungers, there were at least 150 spectators there."
Baxter continued that many of those spectators found her during and after the plungers took their turns jumping into the above ground pool set up next to the baseball field.
"Many of the spectators who came up to me said they loved the event and plan to participate next year," she said. "Even better, a lot of people said they will start raising money for next year's polar plunge now."
Throughout the years, each plunge has raised between $3,500 and $65,000.
All funds raised through pledges raised by individual plungers will go to the athletes in Special Olympics in West Virginia.