The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 3, 2012

Colder by two weeks

Polar Bear Plunge earlier this year, needs plungers, sponsors

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Jack Frost will nip at the toes and noses of polar bear plungers two weeks early this year, event director Sharon Bradley said, and registration for the chilly day is now open.

“We are excited, but that means we have two weeks less to plan and for those registrations to come rolling in,” Bradley said. “Now is the time to get signed up and for businesses and individuals to start thinking about sponsorships.”

The 17th annual Law Enforcement Polar Bear Plunge will be held Feb. 9 at the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake, with events beginning Feb. 8.

Hundreds of people will buck up and jump in Lake Erie, and Bradley said plungers should start gathering  pledges and raising money for Special Olympics.

“Now is the time to register and start collecting funds for the plunge,” she said.

The plunge has raised more than $1 million in 15 years for Special Olympics Ohio, which provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for 22,000 adults and children with intellectual disabilities.

More than 400 adults took the plunge last year, Bradley said, with nearly $100,000 raised between pledges from students, adults, super plungers, the Harley-Davidson raffle, and corporate sponsors.

Cold-weather wimps can join the “Too Chicken to Plunge” event. A $35 donation gets a person “too chicken” to take the plunge a T-shirt and a pat on the back, Bradley said.

The plunge is in need of corporate sponsors for the T-shirts and towels. To secure a spot for a business logo or name on the promotional items, e-mail Bradley at ohiopolarbearplunge@yahoo.com. Donations for sponsorships or to individual plungers are tax deductible.

To register for the plunge or to sponsor the event, visit www.polarbearplunge.org or call (993-1201).

The plunge is also the place to win a 2013 Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim in “Ember Red Sunglow.” The prize includes an enclosed trailer an will be awarded at the plunge. The motorcycle and trailer are on display at Richmond Trailer Sales in Geneva. Tickets are $10 each and are available at Richmond Trailer Sales, The Beverage Depot and DW3’S in Harpersfield Township, The Rainbow Inn in Conneaut, Grand River Manor in Austinburg Township, The American Legion Post 103, DeeGee’s in Ashtabula, Harassment’s and Hickory Grove Golf Course in Jefferson and Shannon’s Tavern in Hartsgrove Township. Tickets are also available online at www.sooh.org or by calling 993-1201.

Mary’s Diner in Geneva will also host the annual Tip-A-Cop event on Feb. 7 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Uniformed officers from across the county will serve up burgers and fries to raise money for Special Olympics Ohio.