The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 28, 2010

Brrrrraving LAKE ERIE

Hundreds descend on Geneva State Park to take a dip for Special Olympics


There were three super plungers this year that took eight dips in the lake starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. When asked why he decided to do the event Jim Green jokingly said, “I was just roaming around the hotel.”

“This is my third year in the Super Plunge,” said John Bodnar, a police officer in Streetsboro. “It really is just a great cause,” he said.

Bodnar said there are important strategies for a successful day in the Super Plunge event. The first is probably a bit obvious, but no less significant.

“Get out of the wet clothes as soon as you can and dry off,” Bodnar said. He said he also has eight different swim suits and eight different towels to insure the most comfortable experience possible.

Super plungers also had a motor home in which to warm up between chilly dips in the lake.

Mike Sanzotta, of the Geneva Fire Department, spent a great deal of time in the water Saturday afternoon but his body suit took the brunt of the cold temperatures.

“If you keep moving it’s not too bad. The more you move, the warmer you get,” he said. Sanzotta said you also stay warm with the encouragement from the plungers as they slap hands while walking or swimming by the safety workers.

A crew from the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department huddled together waiting to take the plunge, literally, complete with alpine outfits and a full head of blond hair for Sal Lopez.

Lopez said the experience was, “Beautiful baby, beautiful,” but would not give up the secret on wear his flowing locks came from.

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