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A Polar Preview

Which fundraiser has snow and swimsuits at the same time? You guessed it! It’s St. Joseph’s annual Polar Plunge! This fun and frigid event is hosted by Missouri law enforcement to benefit the Special Olympics. This year it’s sponsored by the Maryville Treatment Center, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, and our own St. Joseph Police Department.

The party starts at noon on February 12, 2011, and participants “take the plunge” at 2 p.m. sharp. This charitable celebration will take place at Lake Contrary here in St. Joe. All potential plunge-takers are asked to fill out a registration form online and raise at least $75 dollars for the charity by the date of the event. You can create your own page online to help raise funds, and email friends and family to invite them to donate and attend. Everyone planning to join the party must wear a swimsuit and shoes, and many choose to show up in hilarious costumes.

Since this is a citywide event, and most college students can’t resist a party (no matter how chilly), many of Missouri Western’s students are planning to attend. Some will be participating, and some will serve as spectators. Sophomore friends Ceasera Robinson, Stacey Weidemann, and Sarah Gordon had this to say about the upcoming event.

“It gets people together,” Ceasera says, “They help each other for one cause.”

When asked if they planned on joining in on the frosty festivities, Sarah said, “I will if you guys will.”

“Yeah,” Ceasera agreed, “I’ll do it.”

“I will not.” Stacey laughed.

Even though Stacey’s not planning to swim this year, she does intend to donate to Ceasera’s and Sarah’s team.

In addition to the crazy costumes and shivering swimmers, Polar Plunge offers music, dancing, talking, and laughter – just like any great party! After the event, awards will be given to participants. Awards are presented for Top Fundraising College, Top Fundraising School, Top Fundraising Team, Top Fundraising Law Enforcement Agency, and Top Fundraising Individual. In addition to these honors, one person or team will be bestowed with the Golden Plunger for having the best costumes.

Even if you don’t find yourself in possession of one of these icy awards, every participant receives a gift. Remember that $75 you must earn before Saturday? That guarantees you a Polar Plunge 2011 t-shirt! Plungers who raise $250 will receive their choice of a Travel gift card, music and media pack, or a Polar Plunge 2011 beach towel. $500 gives you the choice of a Polar Plunge sweatshirt blanket, Polar Plunge fleece jacket, Polar Plunge duffel bag, or Polar Plunge hoodie. And $1000 lets you choose a Polar Plunge Columbia jacket, Polar Plunge Men’s/Women’s jacket, or Polar Plunge Travel backpack.

This year the goal is set at $45,000. So far, Plungers across the state have raised $15,876.58. Even if you don’t plan on taking the plunge, you can always donate toward the cause and help the other Plungers reach their goal.

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