A cold, snowy first day of the 2013 Polar Plunge season provided one of the most heartwarming happenings in the event's history when the Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge returned to Joe's Crab Shack in Bellevue on Saturday, Feb., 2.
An event-record 755 Polar Bears, plus the family members and friends who came along to watch, braved another snowy Plunge morning in Greater Cincinnati to make their way to the Plunge, but there wasn't anybody who showed more determination to plunge to support Special Olympics than Nick Dautovic of Blue Ash. After taking the Plunge for several years in Wisconsin where he had lived, Dautovic was in his first year living in the Cincinnati area. He wasn't part of team and didn't have someone to plunge with him, but Dautovic wanted to be a part of the Polar Plunge. Oh, and Dautovic is unable to walk and uses a wheelchair. With the setup of the Kentucky-Ohio Plunge using a pool, the stairs to the stage to reach the top of the pool to jump in presented an obstacle, but the event safety crews from the Coast Guard and the Boone County Water Rescue Team were sure something could be worked out. When it came time to plunge, Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteer Scott Hildebrand -- still wet from his own plunge moments earlier -- carried Dautovic up the stairs. From there, Boone County Water Rescue took over, helping Dautovic jump into and get out of the pool. A clearly fired up Dautovic Plunged to massive applause from the large crowd.
|Nick Dautovic hits the water with
Jason Geiman of the Boone County
Water Rescue team.
Hildebrand went on to not only one of the Plunge's all-around good guys, but to be named King of the Polar Plunge for the second consecutive year. Hildebrand raised $2,800 to earn top male fundraiser honors. His Queen of the Plunge was also a repeat winner with Kathryn Lovold from the Below Zero Superheroes (from Northern Kentucky University) taking top female fundraiser honors with $2,500 raised. Other top fundraisers included Prince of the Plunge (top boy fundraiser ages 6-12 years) John Donelan, who raised $779. John is the son of Torch Run volunteer Amanda Donelan and was making his first Polar Plunge. The Plunge Princess was Gaby Wuebben from the Mercer Crew who raised $317. The top Too Chicken fundraiser (a supporter raising money, but not taking the Plunge) was Kerry Armour of the Moeller Hockey Frozen Pucks who raised $265. Finally in a new award for this year, Jay Newbold of the Special Olympics Hamilton County Frosted Fruit Loops and Benjamin Spiegel of Team Frostys, who each raised $100, were named top Special Olympics athlete fundraisers.
The Polar Cup for the largest law enforcement team went to Hildebrand's Campbell County FOP Lodge 10, which had 44 members who raised $7,151. The cup for the largest corporate, community or civic team was claimed by the Florence Public Services team, which had 29 team members who raised $3,297. Batavia High School BPA claimed the largest school team Polar Cup for the second year in a row, with 50 members who raised $6,581.
Messer Construction may have lost their crown as the largest corporate team, but they did regain the title of Top Fundraising Team as the 26 Messer team members raised $8,560.
|The Messer Construction team went
Roman for the 2013 Polar Plunge.
The costume contest was won by the Duck Dynasty team, which claimed the Golden Plunger for Best Group Costume. Lael Forrester won Best Individual Costume for his inflatable bikini suit.
See More Pictures from the 2013 Polar Plunge
Our thanks to everyone who helped to make the event so memorable -- our Polar Plunge Committee; media partners Fox 19 and Q102, along with emcees Stephanie Woods and Jon Jon; our tremendous host Joe's Crab Shack; Co-Sponsors Messer Construction, Bellevue Vets, the City of Bellevue, AAA Travel, The Law Enforcement Torch Run, The Alleen Company, Comfort Suites and Aramark. We also need to thank the many volunteers who came out to help with registration, crowd control and other event needs. It was a great day and it wouldn't have been possible without any of them.
The Kentucky-Ohio Plunge was one of six Polar Plunges held in Kentucky this year, with other events in Lake Cumberland, 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 about how you or your company can be involved in the 2014 Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge as a sponsor or as participants, contact Special Olympics Kentucky Special Events Director Julie Goodpaster at 800-633-7403 or
502-695-8222 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
2013 Kentucky-Ohio Plunge Award Winners
King of the Plunge — Scott Hildebrand, Campbell County FOP Lodge #10; $2,800 raised
Queen of the Plunge — Kathryn Lovold, Below Zero Superheroes; $2,500 raised
Prince of the Plunge — John Donelan, Covington FOP Lodge 1; $779 raised
Princess of the Plunge — Gaby Wuebben; $317 raised
Top Too Chicken Fundraiser — Kerry Armour, Moeller Hockey Frozen Pucks; $265 raised
Top Too Special Olympics Athlete Fundraisers (tie) — Jay Newbold, SO Hamilton County Frosted Fruit Loops and Benjamin Spiegel, Team Frostys; $100 raised each
Polar Cup Corporate Division — Florence Public Services; 29 members, $3,297 raised
Polar Cup School Division — Batavia High School; 50 members, $6,581 raised
Polar Cup Law Enforcement Division — Campbell County FOP Lodge #10; 44 members, $7,151 raised
Top Fundraising Team — Messer Construction, 26 members, $8,560 raised