When Polar Bears awoke on the morning of Feb. 6 for the 2010 Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, a think blanket of snow coated the Greater Cincinnati area, courtesy of a winter storm that rolled through the area the night before. But event with events an activities cancelled throughout the region, the brave Polar Bears were not deterred. Nearly 500 came out in the snow to take the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics athletes in Kentucky and Ohio.
That record number of Plungers raised a record $124,000 for the two programs, an almost 30% jump from the record set just the year before.
|Oscar Martenet of Newport
in his costume contest-
winning Tarzan outfit.
Once the sun peeked out through the snow and roads began to it started to become clear that the 2010 Kentucky-Ohio Polar Plunge would fulfill expectations as being the largest in the event's history. Polar Bears and spectators flooded the Gallery Building at Newport on the Levee to register and get ready for the costume contest that is the highlight of the event's opening ceremonies. This year's costume contest winner was long-time Polar Bear Oscar Martenet of Newport, who dressed as a very convincing Tarzan. It was the first costume contest Golden Plunger award for Oscar, despite years of unique costumes that have included him coming dress as an Oscar Statuette.
For the first time since the event became a joint fundraiser for Kentucky and Ohio, both the Plunge King and Queen were Ohio Polar Bears. Andrew Litchter of Cincinnati was crowned the King of the Plunge, raising $3,000 for Special Olympics. His Queen, Susan Ericksen also of Cincinnati, raised $2,405 jumping as part of the Batavia, Ohio, Middle School Plunge Team. The Prince of the Plunge (top male fundraiser between the ages of 6 and 12) was Owen Nally of Crescent Springs, Ky. Nally, 7, raised $250 to jump with the Covington Police FOP Lodge 1 team with his dad, Teal Nally. The Princess of the Plunge was 8-year-old Lexus Curtis of Fairfield, Ohio, who raised $100 jumping with the Frosted Flakes team.
Curtis' Frosted Flakes also took home the largest Corporate or Community Team Polar Cup, with 25 jumpers raising $2,695. The Fraternity/Sorority/School Division Polar Cup went to the Big Blue Polar Bears from Hamilton!, Ohio, whose 23 members raised $3,028. The Big Blue Polar Bears narrowly edged the 2010 Norse Polar Bear Society (NKU) as the largest School Division group, but the Norse Polar Bear Society did raise more than $6,000 in its effort to defend its 2009 Polar Cup. The Polar Cup for the largest Law Enforcement Team went to Covington Police FOP Lodge 1 for the second year in a row. This year 31 people jumped as part of the FOP Lodge 1 team, raising $6,190.
|Prince of the Plunge Owen Nally (right) takes the Plunge with his dad Teal
from Covington FOP Lodge 1.
The Top Overall Fundraising Team award went to Team Plunging For a Cause, a group of Cincinnati Bengals fans out of Northern Kentucky. The group of 15 Plungers led by team captain and Northern Kentucky Special Olympics coach Lou Prabell raised $7,623.
You can see hundreds of photos of the 2010 Polar Bear Plunge HERE (Password: Polar). Our thanks to Jim Craycroft of Cincinnati Photography who shoots the Polar Plunge at no charge to Special Olympics every year.
Our thanks to everyone who braved the weather and made the 2010 Polar Bear Plunge such a success — host sponsor Newport on the Levee and their staff; media partners FOX 19 and Q102, Jefferson Hall; Bar Louie, which hosted a hugely successful pre-registration party; the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which both raised money through various law enforcement agencies and helped produce the Polar Bear Plunge; Nelson's Tents, which provided the changing tents and heaters and tables and chairs for the day; Arts Rental, which provided tables, chairs and pumps to empty the pool at the end of the day and AAA Travel.
For more information about how you or your company can be involved in the 2011 Polar Bear Plunge as a sponsor or as participants, contact Special Olympics Kentucky Special Events Director Anna Beth Logan at 800-633-7403 or 502-695-8222 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kentucky-Ohio Polar Bear Plunge is one of six Plunges in Kentucky in 2010, with events held in Lake Cumberland, Lexington, Louisville, Newport, Owensboro and Western Kentucky. The six events saw a record 2,480 people take the Plunge, raising more than $618,000 for Special Olympics.
King of the Plunge — Andrew Litchter, $3,000 raised
Queen of the Plunge — Susan Ericksen, $2,405 raised
Prince of the Plunge — Owen Nally, $250 raised
Princess of the Plunge — Lexus Curtis, $100 raised
Polar Cup Corporate Division — Frosted Flakes; 25 members, $2,695 raised
Polar Cup School Division — Big Blue Polar Bears; 23 members, $3,028 raised
Polar Cup Law Enforcement Division — Covington FOP Lodge #1; 31 members, $6,190 raised
Top Fundraising Team — Plungin' 4 a Cause, $7,623