Polar Bear Plunge

January 21, 2006--Posted at 8:15 p.m. CDT

Crowley's Ridge State Park, AR--One phrase you don't normally hear in winter is ''the water's nice come on in''. While January isn't typically swimming weather, it didn't stop a local group who took a Polar Bear Plunge today atCrowley's Ridge State Park.

"Yeah the water's cold," said plunger Rick Tichenr.

A wide variety of people took a deep breath and took the dive for the 2nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge at the Crowley's Ridge State Park Saturday.

"Freezing, freezing for a reason, it was cold but well worth it," said Event Co-planner Vonnie Greer.

The reason for the plunge was to raise money that benefits Special Olympics.

"It's one of the most wonderful things I can tell anybody to get involved with, what it does for these kids, it gives them success in their lives," said Event Co-Planner Audrea King.

"It wasn't bad until I hit the water then my breathe took off it just left," said Tichenr.

"It takes a couple seconds, when it gets about up to your waist is when you realize you made a mistake," said Greer.

20 individuals, 14 teams, and Sponge Bob took the plunge and raised almost 10,000 dollars for Special Olympics. All of the proceeds will benefit Special Olympians across the state and right here in Region 8.

"We can use everybody's help if everyone would help out we wouldn't have as many problems as we have today," said Tichenr.

Although it was a warmer than usual January day across Region 8, it was downright frigid for those who took an afternoon swim.

"When you go under water it's all you can do to get up, you just want to get up," said King.

Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge was 1 of 10 that goes on around the state to raise money for Special Olympics. Next week there will be another plunge at Craighead Forrest Park in Jonesboro.