Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Polar Bear Plunge Saturday, benefits Special Olympics

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JFFC to host Special Olympics Regional Swim meet, also

By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

Some mighty brave people are set to jump into the frigid waters of the outdoor pool at the Jimmy Floyd Family Center on Saturday for the annual Polar Bear Plunge, an event that benefits Wilson County Special Olympics.

The water should be plenty cold considering the recent extremely cold weather we’ve experienced since the first of the year.

Some 40-60 people don their swimwear each year and run or jump into the pool, many of them screaming at the top of their lungs – in happiness, of course. It’s for a good cause, after all – and then just as quickly get out of the water as fast as they can.

Cindy Baker, aquatics director at the JFFC, laughed as she remembered the time she participated in actually plunging herself into the cold water. “I’ve done it. I never want to do it again. It was painful.” She added, however, there are people who participate in the Plunge every year.

The event generally raises about $2,500 or more each year for Special Olympics, an organization that provides young people and adults who intellectually and/or physically disabled the chance to participate in sporting events.

If you are planning to, well, take the Plunge on Saturday, registration is set for 8 a.m. with the Plunge to be held at 9 a.m. There is a $5 fee to register.

Baker said the person who gives $25 in donations will receive a T-shirt. The individual who brings in the most donations will be awarded a membership for one year at the JFFC.

All of the proceeds go to the Wilson County Special Olympics.

Baker said donation forms are available at the Floyd Center or you can register and donate, if you wish, online. Visit www.specialolympics.org/wilsoncountyplunge or www.specialolympicsTN.org for more information. You may also call the Floyd Center at 453-4545. The Polar Bear Plunge is sponsored by the City of Lebanon and the JFFC.

There will be coffee, hot chocolate and donuts available during registration for the Plunge.

In a related event, Baker said the Floyd Center will host the Special Olympics Regional Swimming Competition after the Plunge with about 80 athletes who will compete.

The athletes will swim all the strokes, including freestyle, back stroke, butterfly and others in 25-yard and 50-yard increments.

And everyone will receive an award for their efforts.

After the competition, the JFFC will provide lunch with food donated by several restaurants in the area for the athletes, their families and volunteers.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

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