It may not have happened on January 25th, but it sure did on March 8th! The 18th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge went off without a hitch–a little less attended, but a success all the same.
As of this writing, organizers had raised nearly $1.75 million to support the programs of Special Olympics Maryland. We caught up with Jason Schriml, VP of Communications for Maryland Special Olympics. “We are very happy with the results and have yet to tally the walk-up donations and registrations.” The original plunge was canceled because the severe weather made the annual event dangerous. Schriml elaborated, “I’d much rather go on television and explain our decision to tens of thousands; than to make a single phone call telling someone their loved one was hurt at our event.” As Eye On Annapolis has said, postponing the event was absolutely the right call.
Today’s event was scaled down a bit. There was no Rams Head Ice Lodge and the huge Carnival Cruise Lines tent was also missing. There was a stage and several bands played throughout the afternoon and the traditional costume competitions took place as usual. Wawa provided free coffee and hot chocolate to all and there was a small group of vendors selling food. Of course, Special Olympics bad their “merch tents” in full swing as well.
The one thing that was not reduced for the re-plunge was the enthusiasm of the plungers. No, there was no snow falling. No, there was no ice in the Bay. No, it was not below freezing outside. But, it was a great time for all–and a balmy 37 degrees in the water!
Of course, the organization incurred some significant costs when they canceled in January and any additional donations are encouraged and welcome!