Unlike 2019 when ice had to be sawed and hacked out of the way for the first Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Snowden, Saturday’s second edition didn’t have to deal with ice. But don’t try to tell any of the shivering participants Saturday morning that it wasn’t cold.

Forty degrees Fahrenheit on a breezy, gray morning in late January is quite frigid enough, thank you very much.

Despite the cold (though of course the cold IS the point), more than 200 intrepid volunteers walked, ran, tip-toed, sauntered, ambled, trudged, strutted, sprinted or had friends drag them into the cold waters of Lake Snowden in order to benefit the local Beacon School PTA and Ohio Charities.

This year’s Plunge – put together and hosted by Albany VFW Post 9893, and co-hosted by Wild Country 107.7 – had a big bump in plungers, nearly 80 more than in 2019. This year’s event raised more than $10,000, last year’s raised $8,000.

Earlier this month, Kevin Davis, superintendent of the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities (which oversees Beacon School), said his organization greatly appreciates the VFW Post’s work on the Polar Bear Plunge. “These funds stay in Athens County and have a positive impact on the students we serve,” said Davis, who was one of the first plungers to enter the icy water on Saturday.

Sponsors included Park’s Place Kitchen, Larry’s Doghouse, Shade on East State, Shamrock Auctions LLC, Ohio University Credit Union, Hocking Valley Bank, Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Howard’s Septic.

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