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Freezin’ for a reason: Polar Plunge raises funds for Special Olympics


The weather did its part to make this year's fifth annual Sub-Zero Superhero Polar Plunge particularly polar.

In a reversal of the past week's sunny thaw, Saturday brought back the thick grey clouds and winds. The organizers almost didn't need to fill the tank of water with ice cubes. But they did, with bucket after bucket of ice.

Still, Town Square was packed with hundreds of people to show support for the Special Olympics through the plungers they had pledged funds for.

In total 43 people, some on the seven teams put together for the event, raised $14,000 in taking the plunge.

Those funds will all stay entirely in Montana, with 60 percent, $8,400, will stay here on the Hi-Line.

And despite being in Havre, where most of the jumpers were from, the rest of the Hi-Line certainly made an impressive showing at the Polar Plunge.

The biggest individual pledges came from Blaine County Undersheriff Pat Pyette in Chinook, who raised $3,225, and Stacey Johnston in Chester, who ended up raising more than $2,900.

The biggest group pledge was gathered by the U. S. Border Patrol office in Havre, who raised $3,850.

Before the leaping commenced, the Havre area Special Olympics coordinator thanked Derek Mahlum, the local police officer that spearheaded Polar Plunge organization for the past few years, for his work, which helped raise $80,000 for Special Olympics.

Sarah White, a high school English teacher at Rocky Boy, jumped with the Havre Police Department in the place of her officer husband.

She said jumping in the ice water was her way of showing how she appreciates the whole organization, and that she was jumping for one of her own students who is a Special Olympics athlete.

"All of the athletes are an amazing group of people, " White said. "I just want to help. "


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