Students volunteer to freeze for annual Polar Plunge
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 18:02
College students and community members froze for a cause Friday night for Volunteer ASU’s annual Polar Plunge.
Teams and individuals enjoyed a frigid, yet celebratory outdoor swim after months of fundraising competition to raise money for the charity organization the Special Olympics of Arkansas.
“The event is a sponsored fundraiser for Special Olympics of Arkansas, commonly known as SOAR,” said Katey Provence, head of Volunteer ASU. “It’s a fundraiser they do nationwide and Volunteer ASU hosts this particular plunge to get the ASU student body involved with SOAR.”
This year’s plunge took place at the Wolf Creek Apartments Clubhouse Friday night. Ten teams were registered for the fundraising event, including teams from the Jonesboro Math and Science school, Volunteer ASU, A-State Volleyball and several Greek and community organizations.
“I’m here because part of the Delta Zeta creed is to give graciously of what is mine, and I believe that giving back to SOAR is a great way to do that,” said Megan Michel, a junior of Bentonville and team member for Delta Zeta.
Before the plunge, fundraiser awards were distributed throughout the teams. Prospect Turtles raised the most money and was awarded the golden plaque. Jonesboro Math and Science was awarded the silver plaque and Alpha Omicron Pi was awarded the bronze plaque. The best team costume went to the A-State Volleyball team members who dressed up as minions from the film “Despicable Me.”
“We like to support as many organizations as we can and help out the community,” said Kendal Davis, a freshman of Springtown, Texas and team member of ASU Volleyball.
After the teams took the plunge into the Wolf Creek Apartments pool, members rushed to get a towel and change their clothing in the warmth of the clubhouse.
“After jumping in the water, I’m even more thankful that I was presented with this opportunity,” said sophomore Mallory Floyd of Marion. “I feel that it was totally worth freezing for a little bit knowing that I could be a part of giving to such an amazing cause.”
The team members were asked to raise $50 each to participate in the plunge.
This amount is set by SOAR to help the organization reach its donation goal. Team members received a t-shirt that said “I Survived” and benefactors who preferred not to plunge could receive shirts that said “Too Chicken To Plunge” with a $25 donation.
“Volunteer ASU is very proud and excited to be part of this event,” Provence said. “It is something we look forward to each year and it’s something the students seem to really enjoy doing.”
This year’s Polar Bear Plunge event received more than double the amount of donations from last year, bringing in a total of $4,527 in donations.
Special Olympics of Arkansas is an organization that provides athletic training and competition opportunities in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Because of the money raised at the plunge, SOAR is sending six of their Special Olympics athletes to the Special Olympics in New Jersey this year where they will play in soccer and softball competitions.