Next week marks the seventh year of an unusual wintertime fund raising event where individuals pay for the right to jump into the frigid waters of Hyrum Dam. The 2012 Polar Plunge is Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21 at the Hyrum Dam boat ramp. “We like to say we are out there every year jumping in the cold waters of Hyrum Dam ‘Freezin’ For A Reason’ to raise money for Special Olympics Utah,” said Misty Garn, Deputy at the Cache County Jail. Garn heads up a committee of local law enforcement officers who participate in the event. “This year we have created a new event because we realized there are those who want to help us but don’t want to go in the water,” said Garn. “We call it ‘Too Chicken To Plunge’ and you can come out to the event and still raise the same amount of money. We have t-shirts and you still get the goody bag and a special place to sit in the ‘chicken’ coop. Chic-Fil-A will be there with food and support.” Local law enforcement personnel have teamed up with several Cache Valley businesses to raise money for the local Special Olympics athletes. “Last year we had 240 people go in the water over the three jump times and we have set our sights on even more than that this year.” Scheduled jump times are Friday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. and midnight and the next day at noon. Garn said the midnight plunge is getting bigger every year. “It’s a great time to go in the water,” she said. “We have the music going and it is a real party atmosphere and that’s where we target the high school and college students. Those kids want to take it to another level, noon just isn’t a good enough time.” There are several different contest categories including costume contests and even “Best Group Performance” as some will do a little show before they take the plunge. “We have prizes to ‘The Polar Bear’ or the person who is most comfortable in the water, also ‘Top Fundraiser’ and the ‘Midnight Plunge’ prize and other categories.” Information on other prizes and also about registration is found online sout.org although those who want to be involved can sign up when they arrive. Regular registration is $50, student registration is $25.
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