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Annual Polar Bear Plunge planned for Blue Bend

A large crowd cheers on participants at the 2014 Greenbrier Polar Bear Plunge. Each year plungers come to Blue Bend and jump in to raise funds and awareness to combat child abuse.
A large crowd cheers on participants at the 2014 Greenbrier Polar Bear Plunge. Each year plungers come to Blue Bend and jump in to raise funds and awareness to combat child abuse.

Organizers of the 13th Annual Greenbrier Valley Polar Bear Plunge Club say the charity event for the nonprofit Child and Youth Advocacy Center in Lewisburg is set for Saturday, Mar. 5, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Blue Bend Recreation Area in the Monongahela National Forest.

Over 300 fearless individuals have earned membership into the club by plunging into the icy waters of Anthony Creek. In 2014, 127 kindred spirits helped to raise awareness about child abuse, and the event raised $24,000 for the nonprofit Child and Youth Advocacy Center of Lewisburg. The CYAC interviews and counsels sexually abused children in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas counties and aids in the prosecution of sex offenders. As always, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the CYAC. Last year, the event was cancelled due to a large snowstorm that made the event area inaccessible.

Club members have come from all across West Virginia and seven other states, including Tennessee, North Carolina and Ohio, to plunge at the event held at Blue Bend where water temperatures average about 36 degrees in March.

“Once again I challenge my Polar Bear club members to help combat child abuse in our neighborhoods,” said Polar Bear President Christian Giggenbach. “Don’t forget to bring your towel.”

Again this year the Greenbrier East High School JROTC will perform and after the plunge, the Half Bad Bluegrass band will entertain in the large shelter in the campground. Penny the DJ will also serve as MC of the event. Plungers are also asked to dress up in their favorite G-rated costumes to win prizes. The food vendor again this year will be When Pigs Fly Barbecue and Catering.

Currently, members are combing the area seeking plunge pledges. Businesses may be listed on the Polar Bear T-shirts and in the program guide. Plungers who raise at least $25 will receive a polar bear T-shirt. Fundraising packets and plunger forms can be picked up at the CYAC, Little Black Box Lingerie in Lewisburg or downloaded online at www.facebook.com/greenbrierpolarbear.

“We are deeply appreciative for the plungers, pledgers, businesses and volunteers who make the polar bear plunge a reality,” CYAC Executive Director Katherine Thompson said. “Please bring your kids and the whole family to watch the fun and sponsor a plunger.”

The event also includes club members singing the “Ode to Polar Bear” song, the Polar Bear Spirit Award presentation and a giant American Flag hung from the swinging bridge. Plungers are asked to report to the event before noon.

The CYAC/Polar Bear Plunge event operates under a special use permit of the Monongahela National Forest and the event is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

The CYAC’s mission is to end child abuse in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas counties.

For more information, contact the CYAC at 304-645-4668 or visit facebook.com/greenbrierpolarbear.

 

 

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