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Kentucky-Ohio Plunge Enjoys a Heat Wave

Warmest day in event History brings 775 Polar Bears to Joe's crab Shack

We should have seen February's wacky weather coming early on, specifically when 775 brave Polar Bears congregated at Joe's Crab Shack in Bellevue for the 16th annual Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 7. Always the earliest, and traditionally the coldest of Kentucky's six Polar Plunge events, this year the northernmost of Kentucky's events enjoyed a heatwave, with temperatures that reached into the low 50s by the end of the event.

The unseasonable temperature brought the spectators out in force and kept them outside to enjoy offerings from event sponsor Kona Ice (which donated 100% of all sales to the Plunge) and a special outside entertaining area set up by Joe's Crab Shack.

These matching fairy costumes helped
the L'Oreal team claim the Best Group Costume Award

As always, the day got underway with the much-anticipated costume contest. The individual winner had a vintage feel as Joe Ohradzansky of Cincinnati went with the sumo wrestler costume that netted him a trophy almost 10 years ago and once again took home the Golden Plunger. The group award went to the L'Oreal Kentucky Operations team that came decked out in matching fairy costumes and danced their way into the hearts of the spectators and the judges.

The costume contest wasn't the only award L'Oreal took home this year. They dethroned the reigning Corporate/Civic Division Polar Cup champion by bringing 25 team members and raising $4,756.

The other two Polar Cup champions were repeat winners, with Campbell County FOP Lodge 10 winning the prize for largest Law Enforcement team with 43 members raising $8,799; and Batavia High School Business Professionals Association of America continuing their dominance of the Fraternity/Sorority/School Division with a whopping 85 team members who raised $9,241.

The Top Fundraising Team Award found a new home in 2015 as Hamilton County Law Enforcement and Friends - who had come oh so close to winning the title many times -- wrested the trophy away from two-time defending champs the Below Zero Super Heroes. Hamilton County raised $12,224.25 this year to take the fundraising crown.

A team of Minions hits the water
at the Polar Plunge.

Below Zero Super Heroes team captain Kathryn Lovold maintained her rule as Queen of the Polar Plunge as the event's top fundraising woman. Lovold raised $2,841 this year. She did have new King, as Nathan Churchill dethroned multi-time defending champ Scott Hildebrand from FOP Lodge 10 this year. Churchill raised $4,125 to assume the crown.

Lovold and Churchill were joined in the royal court by a pair of Princes (top fundraising boys) in brothers Harrison, 12, and William, 11, Warfel, who both raised $556 jumping with Hamilton County Law Enforcement. Manhattan Miller, 16, of Batavia High School BPA was the Plunge Princess, raising $615.

This year's top Too Chicken to Plunge fundraiser (participant who raised money but didn't jump) was no stranger to Plunge awards. Sheila Craig of the Campbell County FOP Lodge 10 team raised $1,020 to take that prize. Craig was a multi-year Plunge Queen winner when the Plunge got its start.

Plunge King Nathan Churchill takes the Plunge.

Finally, the Top Special Olympics Athlete fundraiser award went to Ariel Bachrach of the Special Olympics Hamilton County Freeze Cats. Ariel raised $1,000 for herself and her fellow athletes to claim the award.

In all, this year's Polar Plunge raised more than $154,000 to support Special Olympics programs in Kentucky and Ohio.

See More Pictures from the 2015 Polar Plunge

Our thanks to everyone who helped to make our least Polar Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge such a great event -- our Polar Plunge Committee; media partners Fox 19 and Q102, along with emcees Denise Johnson and Jon Jon; our tremendous host Joe's Crab Shack; Co-Sponsors Messer Construction and Kona Ice and Supporting Sponsors 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. Special thanks to the Bellevue Police Department and Bellevue Fire Department who do so many things to make the Polar Plunge possible.

The Kentucky-Ohio Plunge is one of six Polar Plunges held in Kentucky this year, with other events in Lake Cumberland, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro and Western Kentucky.

2015 Kentucky-Ohio Plunge Award Winners

King of the Plunge — Nathan Churchill, $4,125 raised
Queen of the Plunge — Kathryn Lovold, Below Zero Superheroes; $2,841 raised
Prince of the Plunge (Tie) — Harrison Warfel, 12, and William Warfel, 11, Hamilton County Law Enforcement and Friends; $556 raised each
Princess of the Plunge — Manhattan Miller, 16, Batavia High School Business Professionals of America; $615 raised
Top Too Chicken Fundraiser — Sheila Craig, Campbell County FOP Lodge 10; $1,020 raised
Top Special Olympics Athlete Fundraisers — Arielle Bachrach, Special Olympics Hamilton County Freeze Cats; $1,000 raised

Polar Cup Corporate Division — L'Oreal Kentucky Operations; 25 members, $4,756 raised
Polar Cup School Division — Batavia High School Business Professionals of America; 85 members, $9,241 raised
Polar Cup Law Enforcement Division — Campbell County FOP Lodge #10; 43 members, $8,799 raised

Top Fundraising Team — Hamilton County Law Enforcement and Friends, 22 members; $12,224.25 raised

Best Group Costume — L'Oreal Kentucky Operations - Fairies
Best Individual Costume — Joe Ohradzansky - Sumo Wrestler



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