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Proponents prepare Polar Plunge pledges

 


Proponents prepare Polar Plunge pledges

Annual event supports local Special Olympics

Zach White

In case the weather hasn't been cold enough for anyone, this year's Polar Plunge will allow people to dive once again into thousands of gallons of ice water next month, for a local cause.

The Havre Police Department and local U. S. Border Patrol are collaborating this year to organize the 5th Annual Sub-Zero "Super Hero" Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Montana, Saturday, March 19, at Town Square.

"Special Olympics is probably one of the most amazing organizations I've seen or been involved with, " Derek Mahlum, of the Havre Police Department, said. "The athletes' gratitude about the law enforcement involvement is unbelievable. It's usually a high point in a sometimes rough occupation.

"It's such an important organization, words can't even describe it. "

Mahlum has coordinated the event since 2006. This year, he is working with David Bischoff and the U. S. Border Patrol on the fundraiser.

Like in years past, Mahlum said that pledge forms and information about the plunge are available in some downtown Havre businesses, or from the police department 24 hours a day.

As always, sponsors pledge money for an individual or a team to leap into a 3,000-gallon pool of water chilled with 3,000-3,500 pounds of ice, Mahlum said.

This year, the plungers, and the pledgers who support them, have a new way to raise funds, on http://www.firstgiving.com.

Jumpers can register on FirstGiving, under the "Sub-Zero Super Hero Polar Plunge" event.

Then supporters, from anywhere in the world, can pledge their money online and leave comments of support for the jumper.

"It's a great way to extend the reach of the plunge, beyond our community across the country, " Mahlum said.

The website has been accepting pledges for nearly a month now.

So far, 26 plungers have raised almost $2,000 toward their goal and the usual event intake of $20,000.

More than $700 of that has, so far been raised by Stacey Johnston of Chester alone.

All of the money raised in the plunge goes directly to Special Olympics Montana.

Sixty percent of the money will stay on the Hi-Line, helping Special Olympics athletes from Chester to Harlem and south to Big Sandy.

On March 19, registration opens at 2 p. m., with safety meetings and opening ceremonies taking off just before jumps start around 4 p. m.

Even if actually jumping into the ice water is not appealing, there's a coinciding barbecue scheduled to sustain the fully-clothed spectators.

Officer Mahlum warns, though, that not taking pledges is not necessarily a guarantee of staying dry.

"Bring a wet suit, " Mahlum said. "Because it gets wet and wild. "

In case the weather hasn't been cold enough for anyone, this year's Polar Plunge will allow people to dive once again into thousands of gallons of ice water next month, for a local cause.

The Havre Police Department and local U. S. Border Patrol are collaborating this year to organize the 5th Annual Sub-Zero "Super Hero" Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Montana, Saturday, March 19, at Town Square.

"Special Olympics is probably one of the most amazing organizations I've seen or been involved with, " Derek Mahlum, of the Havre Police Department, said. "The athletes' gratitude about the law enforcement involvement is unbelievable. It's usually a high point in a sometimes rough occupation.

"It's such an important organization, words can't even describe it. "

Mahlum has coordinated the event since 2006. This year, he is working with David Bischoff and the U. S. Border Patrol on the fundraiser.

Like in years past, Mahlum said that pledge forms and information about the plunge are available in some downtown Havre businesses, or from the police department 24 hours a day.

As always, sponsors pledge money for an individual or a team to leap into a 3,000-gallon pool of water chilled with 3,000-3,500 pounds of ice, Mahlum said.

This year, the plungers, and the pledgers who support them, have a new way to raise funds, on www.firstgiving.com.

Jumpers can register on FirstGiving, under the "Sub-Zero Super Hero Polar Plunge" event.

Then supporters, from anywhere in the world, can pledge their money online and leave comments of support for the jumper.

"It's a great way to extend the reach of the plunge, beyond our community across the country, " Mahlum said.

The website has been accepting pledges for nearly a month now.

So far, 26 plungers have raised almost $2,000 toward their goal and the usual event intake of $20,000.

More than $700 of that has, so far been raised by Stacey Johnston of Chester alone.

All of the money raised in the plunge goes directly to Special Olympics Montana.

Sixty percent of the money will stay on the Hi-Line, helping Special Olympics athletes from Chester to Harlem and south to Big Sandy.

On March 19, registration opens at 2 p. m., with safety meetings and opening ceremonies taking off just before jumps start around 4 p. m.

Even if actually jumping into the ice water is not appealing, there's a coinciding barbecue scheduled to sustain the fully-clothed spectators.

Officer Mahlum warns, though, that not taking pledges is not necessarily a guarantee of staying dry.

"Bring a wet suit, " Mahlum said. "Because it gets wet and wild. "

 

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