The Hobby Horse House’s “Polar Plunge” took place, a week after it was originally scheduled and postponed, to raise money for the non-profit group. Plungers had to pay a $50 entree fee.
The Morgan County Search and Rescue Team was on hand to make sure everyone got in and out safely. The water temperature at the time of the jump was 38 degrees.
Nicki Buchanan of Carrollton was one of the first to jump in.
“It was very cold. I can’t feel my toes,” Buchanan said, adding she’d never do that again.
While many of the women wore costumes for the jump, no one could top the bravery of Dana Chesnut of Woodson- she wore a bikini.
“This is just a bucket list thing that I’ve always wanted to do, and I didn’t even know what the cause was for until I got here,” says Chesnut. “But I just knew that I was going to pay my $50, and I knew I was going to jump in the water.”
Hobby Horse executive director Lecie Brannan says she was thankful for everyone that braved the cold temperatures- both in the air and the water.
“They’re showing great community support for much-needed services that we provide at Hobby Horse,” says Brannan. “This is one of our big fundraisers, and we hope to grow it every year.”
Jumpers were provided some hot chili by Wendy’s. Brannan says many of the jumpers had corporate sponsors.
Brannan explains that the event was postponed last week because of a lack of manpower to clear the snow that had fallen.
Because of the postponement, the 20-or-so students who signed up for MacMurray and Illinois College were unable to take the plunge today because of spring break. Brannan says they’ll have a second polar plunge for those students on March 24th.
Brannan estimates about $1,200 was raised for the Hobby Horse Center.