Western Kentucky Polar Plunge Goes On Without A Lake
By Justin Jones
Gilbertsville, KY -
A couple inches of snow, sleet, and freezing rain this week couldn't stop people from jumping into icy water. The bad weather didn't cancel Western Kentucky's Polar Plunge, but it did cause a major change to its tradition
People jumped into a fire trough, a last minute choice borrowed from the Marshall County Fire Department. Event Organizer Laura Miller said when divers from both McCracken County and Marshall County checked the lake Friday they thought it was too dangerous for them."When divers say they aren't going to be in the water that means we can't be in the water either," Miller said.
The dock for plungers and bystanders was also covered in a thick sheet of ice that could easily make people fall in.
So, around lunchtime Friday, organizers had to come up with a different plan.
"We had already started driving fence posts and were ready to put up fencing," Miller said.
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars suggested they borrow a fire trough. Fire crews set it up Saturday, and boy scouts filled it up with snow.
"They assured me they felt like they had not been ippedj. They felt like it was a true polar plunge," Miller said.
However, there were less plungers at the event than normal, likely because of the bad weather. Miller said they couldn't cancel the event, because event space at the Kentucky Dam Village State Park always needs to be booked months or years in advance.
Miller said in general Polar Plunge sign-ups have been lower than in years past across the state.
"I don't know if it was weather related or not, but yeah numbers are definitely down. So, we are hoping people keep sending in those donations so hopefully our money numbers don't suffer quite as much."
Money raised goes to Western Kentucky's Special Olympics program. To support the cause click here.
As of Saturday afternoon they raised $65,335.07. A makeup registration day, for those unable to attend Saturday, will be Wednesday, February 25th from 4-7 p.m. in the lobby of the KDV Hotel/Lodge. It will be for anyone who needs to turn in money raised or wants to make a donation.