\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_24458" align="alignnone" width="734"]<a href="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/years-polar-bear-plunge-moves-island-park\/polar-bear-plunge-march-2014-1429\/" rel="attachment wp-att-24458"><img class=" wp-image-24458" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2017\/01\/Polar-Bear-Plunge-March-2014-1429-300x200.jpg" alt="" width="734" height="489" \/><\/a> (Photo by Connie Manchester)<br \/>Plungers earn their membership cards during a past Greenbrier Valley Polar Bear Plunge. Over 400 members have joined the club and $80,000 has been given to the Child and Youth Advocacy Center of Lewisburg to help raise awareness about child abuse.[\/caption]\r\n<h1>The 14th annual Greenbrier Valley Polar Bear Plunge is set for Saturday, Mar. 11, beginning at 1 p.m. and will be held at a new venue this year, the Ronceverte Island Park.<\/h1>\r\nDue to extensive damage to Blue Bend caused by last June\u2019s floods, Polar Bear officials made the decision to plunge into the Greenbrier River at Ronceverte. Future plunges will continue once Blue Bend has been restored to normal by the National Forest Service.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe footbridge leading to the large beach was washed out and roughly half of the flagstone has been upended,\u201d Greenbrier Polar Bear President Christian Giggenbach said. \u201cIt\u2019s not possible to hold the event there. The Forest Service has told me funding has been secured to fix the issues. When we knew Blue Bend was no longer an option, The Ronceverte Island Park immediately was our first choice for the new venue.\u201d\r\n\r\nEach year, Polar Bear members seek out sponsorships to plunge and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the nonprofit Child and Youth Advocacy Center of Lewisburg. The CYAC interviews and counsels sexually abused children in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas\u00a0 counties and aids in the prosecution of sex offenders. Over 400\u00a0 fearless individuals have earned their Polar Bear membership cards through the years and since 2005, over $80,000 has been raised.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe want to thank all the plungers, sponsors and volunteers who go the extra mile to combat child abuse in our region,\u201d CYAC Executive Director Kat Thompson said. \u201cWe are proud of our association with the Polar Bear Club and look forward to seeing everyone again this year.\u201d\r\n\r\nClub members from all across West Virginia and seven separate states, including Tennessee, North Carolina and Ohio, have plunged in the yearly event.\u00a0 In 2013, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin proclaimed the event a \u201cspecial West Virginia tradition,\u201d and the plunge was also named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event for 2014.\u00a0 Many plungers also dress up in their favorite family friendly costumes to win prizes.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe psychological fear of the cold water is much greater than actually going in,\u201d Giggenbach said. \u201cBut that pales in comparison to the fear that sexually abused children in our area live with every moment of the day. We all jump in to help protect those innocent children.\u201d\r\n\r\nCurrently, Polar Bears are roaming the area seeking plunge sponsorships. Businesses may be listed on Polar Bear T-shirts and in the program guide. Plungers who raise at least $25 will receive a Polar Bear T-shirt. A new component this year will be the ability to register plungers online. Go to www.childandyouthadvocacy.org and click on \u201cEvents.\u201d Fundraising packets can also be picked up at the CYAC or Little Black Box Lingerie in Lewisburg.\r\n\r\nPenny The DJ will serve as master of ceremonies for the event which also includes the Greenbrier East JROTC, club members singing the \u201cOde to Polar Bear\u201d song and the Polar Bear Spirit Award presentation. The food vendor will be When Pigs Fly barbecue.\r\n\r\nThe Polar Bear Plunge was originally created as a tribute to the club president\u2019s late mother, Kay Sweet Giggenbach, who would have been overjoyed at the sight of everyone running\u00a0 into such freezing water. For more information, contact the CYAC at 304-645-4668 or visit facebook.com\/greenbrierpolarbear.