Polar Bear Plunge Sends Thousands Into Chilly Chesapeake Bay

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 Annual Polar Bear Plunge.

More than 7,000 people were expected to jump into the chilly waters of the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday for the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge. “They’re happy that we’re there to help them and it’s smiles and hugs from them just because of who we are and that we’re there to support them,” A member of the Air Force out of Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, he and his 21-member team already have raised over $2,000 for Special Olympics — well over their goal of $1,500. Formed in 2004, the group has at least 30 members who have each raised $10,000. “If I can do it 24 times, you can certainly do it once,” said Boyd, who was on his eighth Super Plunge.

Donna Taylor, of Arnold, holding a beachball has participated in all 19 Polar Bear Plunges and this is her 8th “super plunge.” In the background with the stocking cap is Mary Kokosko of Annapolis. He said he became involved at the request of a family friend who is a Special Olympian. “It’s a life-changing event,” Boyd said. “I’ve raised $29,000 this year by myself. While Tewey is certainly ready, he has some distinct disadvantages in comparison to an actual polar bear, says Don Moore, senior scientist for the Smithsonian Institution.

I know it goes to a great cause, and I’ve seen firsthand how it has affected athletes’ lives.” Friday’s festivities began with the first plunge shortly after 10 a.m. I have a lot of friends who are in situations where their kids participate in Special Olympics, so it’s something that’s a little near and dear to my heart. Among those who took part in this year’s Super Plunge was recently elected Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, who also participated last year as a state senator. “Even though we’re fairly busy, after the election was over, I made a commitment to do this again,” Kittleman said shortly after the 1 p.m. plunge. “Transition’s over, and we’ve got a lot going on, but this is important, too.” During the 1 p.m. plunge, those who took part remained in the water longer than normal and gathered for a photo taken by a drone camera that hovered overhead. By then, the afternoon winds had picked up, signaling the approach of inclement weather. “As soon as you start to get wind, it makes it worse,” said Boyd. “But you have to brave it. She said about 300 South River High School students will take part in the Cool School Plunge, which is held for elementary, middle and high schools from across the state. “I enjoy working with all students, but especially students with disabilities; they just always stay so positive,” said Kokosko. “I grew up playing sports, so I absolutely love giving anybody the opportunity to be part of the team, achieve personal success and really enjoy doing so.”

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