Third annual Polar Plunge makes a splash

By Nick Erickson, Staff writer 

   With temperatures in the high 30s, the third annual Polar Plunge, where participants took the opportunity to plunge into a large tank of cold water for charity, took place Thursday night in the Quad.

  The plunge, presented by the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha, began registration between 7 and 8 p.m. with the dunking beginning at 8:30 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics Kentucky.

Participants were encouraged to register online with a group of their friends and to form a team. Those who were participating also were encouraged to pledge to raise at least $40 in donations per person in their team to benefit Special Olympics Kentucky.

President of ASA, Emily Mundt, senior from Louisville, Kentucky, had a very positive outlook on the event’s growth, as well as the conditions of the event.

“Looking back on the plunge, it’s cool to see how it’s changed over the past three years,” Mundt said. “The weather has also improved for the better.”

The campus’ fundraising event was modeled off of the numerous plunges that take place every year in the state, including the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park.

Sarah Geolte, junior from Belleville, Illinois, said the event has grown rapidly over the past three years.

“The first year we did the plunge, we raised $7,000,” Geolte said “It has now more than doubled to $15,000 raised last year.”

Geolte said that she also hoped to raise even more this year.

Megan Buntin, junior from Benton, Illinois, said helping to put on the event, as well as participating, is a nostalgic experience to her.

“I do this back home with my family, and this is my first one not in a lake,” Buntin said. “It’s such a fun time and brings up good memories.”

Buntin enjoys that it’s her sorority that’s the one putting on the event.

“With Special Olympics being one of our philanthropies, this event is a positive way for us to raise awareness for another event,” Buntin said. “It’s nice seeing how everyone comes together to have fun, while doing something good in the process.”

In addition to the plunge, there was an inflatable slide participants could climb and slide down.

The plunge was followed by an after party at 9:30 p.m. located at Tap 216.

The after party, also sponsored by Tap 216, offered a free chili bar to those who participated in the plunge. 20 percent of all food sales went to Special Olympics Kentucky.

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Photos by Chalice Keith/The News