Though it wasn’t really polar, there was a chill in the air Saturday when a group of hearty volunteers took an icy dip as a large group of well-wishes cheered them on. The Salina Polar Plunge event to help support Kansas Special Olympics was held at the Webster Conference Center.
In past years the lake has been layered in ice, but not this year. The air temperature was in the lower 50s when the group of warm-hearted volunteers took the plunge. As a large crowd of well-wishers cheered them on, over 60 people took the plunge into the lake.
The event featured an entire morning of activities, including a “Polar 5k” run and a pancake feed.
About 30 runners competed on a unique course that included a combination road run and trail run. Michael White and Carol White of Salina won the men’s and women’s races.
The main event of the day was a plunge off a dock into the lake on the property. With a rescue diver and a boat in the water, and EMS standing by as a precaution, plungers leaped into the water.
Each person who took the plunge was motivated by donations from friends and family. Many were dressed in colorful costumes, to the delight of the crowd.
Prior to the plunge there was a costume contest, where awards were given for best individual and best group costumes. Awards for most money raised by an individual, most money raised by a team, and largest team were also handed out.
Ryan Batchman, a 6th grade teacher in Sylvan Grove, raised the most money individually. Woith the help of his students he raised over $300 this year. Batchman jumps on behalf of his students. They help him raise funds, and in return he wears a costume that they design. Last year, he was the tree-like creature known as Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This year he was a Duane Johnson inspired “Tooth Fairy.”
The team raising the most money was from the Salina Walmart store. The largest team was from the Salina Police Department.
All proceeds from the Polar Plunge go to help Kansas Special Olympics.
The Salina Police Department takes the Polar Plunge.
Posted by Newsradio 1150 KSAL on Saturday, February 17, 2018