People will have a unique opportunity Saturday to jump into ice-cold water as their friends cheer them on — and maybe laugh at them.
Saturday will be the annual Polar Plunge in Havre. It’s an event where people have a good time seeing their friends jump into the cold water.
This year, there will probably be a bigger crowd than usual. The jump will take place at Blue Pony Stadium after the Montana State University-Northern Lights defeat Dickinson State University in football. The fun is expected to start at about 3:30 p.m.
Havre Police and the Border Patrol sponsor the event for the local chapter of the Special Olympics, the program that has helped developmentally challenged people have fun and gain self-esteem for several decades. Locally the athletes take part in sports ranging from basketball to snowshoeing.
Your body may shiver as you watch people jump into the freezing water, but your hearts will be warmed when you see the Special Olympics athletes cheer the jumpers on.
A lot of good people work hard to put on the program.
Shaylee Lewis, a Havre High School teacher, has been the inspiration for the Special Olympics for years. A group of loyal parents and friends of the Special Olympians has helped her out.
Police officers from throughout the Hi-Line have volunteered to help out and to jump.
Among the regulars at the plunge in past years was Blaine County Undersheriff Pat Pyette who was tragically killed after being struck by a car while directing traffic on U.S. Highway 2 near Chinook.
He will be honored at this year’s festivities.
If you are the courageous type, sign up for the event. Show your bravery by jumping into the cold water while friends cheer you on.
Or, if you are like most of us and are on the chicken side of things, goad your friends into jumping and help them raise the needed $100 in pledges.
Or, you can be like Mandy Hansen, the longtime Special Olympics supporter. You can raise funds under the “chicken program.” Collect money from friends, but decline the opportunity to jump.
In any event, you’ll have a good time. And you will ensure that the Special Olympians have a good time for years to come.