JEFFERSON — The Polar Bear Plunge is a charity event that many people become involved in to raise money for the Special Olympics. Students and community members from all parts of Ohio get together on different dates to jump into the frigid waters of their area. Thousands of dollars each year are raised through the sponsorship money that each jumper collects.
Many members of our county participate in the Polar Bear Plunge event for the Special Olympics that is held at Geneva-on-the-Lake; however, many students from the Jefferson, Pymatuning Valley and Grand Valley school districts take part in a separate plunge, held in Roaming Shores, which benefits a different cause.
The Polar Bear Plunge held in Roaming Shores began in memorial of Jeff Meddock, a former Pymatuning Valley High School principal and beloved Roaming Shores resident that passed away unexpectedly at the age of 38 on Oct. 2, 2008. Meddock enjoyed participating in the Polar Bear Plunge in Geneva and encouraged his students to participate as well. In his honor, the RoamRock Association founded the Polar Bear Plunge of Roaming Shores. Based on the money raised from the students of each participating school, as well as many supportive community members, the funds are donated to charities such as: The Jeff Meddock Memorial Scholarship Fund, Jefferson Falcon Academic Boosters, the “Breakfast with Santa” event for local children, and several other local non-profit funds and charities.
As a very close friend of Meddock, Jeremy Huber, the principal of Jefferson Area High School, is very fond of the Polar Bear Plunge. He participates in the event every year and also rallies up the support and participation of many of the students at JHS.
“This event is very important to our area and our school,” he said. “The money raised by Jefferson students is used to support the Academic Boosters, which helps to fund Model United Nations, academic field trips and rewards, as well as several large scholarships.”