Chilly Day for Polar Bear Plunge

WALCOTT, AR (KAIT) -- It was a chilly Saturday but that didn't stop people from taking a dip in Lake Walcott, during  the annual Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics.

"You get in, get out and we consider you a true polar bear plunger," said Vonnie Greer, Special Olympics Coordinator.

"Last year we had about 35 plungers and raised $8500 dollars and the year before last we had about 70 plungers and raised $10,500, so we've done really well and we're hoping for a good turn out today too," said Area Director Audrea King.

And despite a water temperature of 32 degree and a wind chill of a very brisk 14 degrees, the generosity of Region 8 was warm.

"They actually do it I believe because they care about Special Olympics and they care about these kids and they want to raise money so they are true to Special Olympics when they come and do the polar bear plunge," said Greer.

The money raised at the chilly event is used for training clinics for the Special Olympics athletes and for people who want to become certified coaches.  Medals are also purchased for competitions, and funds are used to send athletes to sports camp.

"The worst part is once you get in, trying to get back out. Your body does kind of go into shock and even though you know you can swim, you are in shock. You have to tell your brain to walk, move, get out of this lake, get out of the water," said Greer.

If you missed Saturday's can do it next at the Craighead Forest Lake.  Registration is at Noon and the jump starts at 1:00 p.m.