Nearly 100 brave Polar Bears hit the chilly waters of Lake Cumberland on Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics returned to Lee's Ford Resort and Marina. The group combined to raise a little over $24,000.
Fundraisers were led by Nathan Churchill, who was named King of the Plunge after raising $2,590. The Queen of the Plunge was first-time Polar Bear Karen Statom who was the captain of Team Cougars. She raised $1,127 in her first Plunge effort.
Team Cougar -- dressed in cat ears, but made up for a night on the town -- made a serious run at winning the costume contest in their first year as well. They were overpowered, however, by the Superheroes team from Omega Phi Alpha.
Brennan Chriswell of The Adanta Group team repeated as Prince of the Plunge (top boy fundraiser between 6 and 12) with $300 raised.
The Top Too Chicken Fundraiser (for people who want to support the event but are "too chicken" to plunge) went to
Shirley Roberts who checked in with $75.
The Bardstown Brrr-buns Team USA, a team from Maker's Mark who come down to the Plunge each year, repeated as the Top Fundraising team this year with $3,483 raised. Their 10 team members helped them hang onto a share of their Corporate Division Polar Cup as the largest corporate team. They shared the honor this year with The Adanta Group, which also had 10 and raised $2,706.
Somerset Community College took the Polar Cup in the School Division with eight participants who raised $1,141.
The award for Best Individual Costume went to "The Dan."
See Photos of this year's Plunge, courtesy of Marisa Dungan of lakecumberlandliving.com
The Lake Cumberland Plunge is the result of tremendous dedication by the the local committee, led by Rodney Henry. It was also helped along by so many great sponsors who chipped in — Lee's Ford Resort and The Harbor Restaurant; Fruit of the Loom, which donated all the t-shirts for the Polar Bears; AAA Travel, which provided a Caribbean Cruise for one Polar Bear from the six Kentucky events; The Kentucky Law Enforcement Torch Run; The Knights of Columbus; and media sponsors Somerset 106-WYKY FM, SAM 103.9 WWEL FM, 93.5 Hot Country-WAIN FM, 96.7 Kool Gold-WANV FM and lakecumberlandliving.com.
The Lake Cumberland Plunge was one of six Polar Plunges held in Kentucky this year, with other events in Bellevue, Lexington,Louisville, Owensboro and Western Kentucky. In all more than 2,800 people took the Plunge this year for Special Olympics Kentucky, raising more than $688,000.
For more information on how you can get involved in next year’s Plunge as a participant or for sponsorship information, contact Julie Goodpaster at 800-633-7403 or email@example.com.
2013 Lake Cumberland Plunge Award Winners
King of the Plunge — Nathan Churchill; $2,590 raised
Queen of the Plunge — Karen Statom, Team Cougar; $1,127 raised
Prince of the Plunge — Brennan Chriswell, The Adanta Group; $300 raised
Top Too Chicken Fundraiser — Shirley Roberts; $75 raised
Polar Cup Corporate/Civic Division (tie) — Bardstown Brrr-Buns Team USA; 10 members, $3,483 raised and The Adanta Group; 10 members, $2,706 raised
Polar Cup School Division — Somerset Community College; 8 members, $1,141 raised
Top Fundraising Team — Bardstown Brrr-Buns Team USA; 10 members, $3,483 raised
Best Group Costume — Superheroes - Omega Phi Alpha
Best Individual Costume — "The Dan"