By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Hundreds braved the icy waters of Anchor Bay on Saturday for the annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge.
Veterans of the event in their sixth year, the Wood Co. Sheriff’s Department aimed to exceed their fundraising goal every year, and this year was no exception. From the support of community members and businesses, they were able to raise over $10,000, alone.
“We had a lot of great community support – this is a great partnership.” said Wood Co. Sheriff’s Department Captain Shawn Becker.
As of Feb. 5, Iron Order Motorcycle Club raised the most money with $17,691. Dougie’s Dunkers raised $14,610.00 and Neenah Inc. added in $11,645.00 from their own efforts. Last year, over $82,000 was raised in total, with this year looking to exceed that number.
However, one didn’t have to take the plunge to attend the special event, as live music, raffles, and more graced this community effort — an effort inspired by the very efforts of Special Olympics athletes.
“I strongly suggest you attend the Special Olympics opening ceremonies in Stevens Point,” said Becker. “You get an opportunity to see the athletes, hang out with them, and then you get hooked. That’s what it’s all about.”
Literally anyone can start to raise money for the cause, with or without taking the frigid dive — and according to Becker, it’s not nearly as bad as one would think diving into freezing water in the dead of winter would be.
“It’s not that bad,” said Becker. “I would recommend shoes, and the hot tubs are always nice. That will be the first thing I will be in after I jump.”
For more information, please visit http://polarplungewi.org/