Another amazing Polar Plunge season is in the books, leaving behind it another string of broken records and special moments.
One of those special moments came early in this year's first Plunge weekend in the Kentucky-Ohio Plunge where Nick Dautovic took the Plunge. What made Nick's story so special? Well, it was his first year participating in the Kentucky-Ohio Plunge and it was his first year in Cincinnati. Oh, and Nick isn't able to walk. He had plunged in previous years in Wisconsin where he had lived before moving to Cincinnati. But all of Wisconsin's Polar Plunges are into lakes. The setup at Joe's Crab Shack presented some challenges for Nick. First, since the Kentucky-Ohio Plunge is into a pool, there are steps up to get to where you can jump into the pool. Nick -- and the Plunge safety volunteers -- were undaunted. Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteer Scott Hildebrand helped get Nick onto the stage and a member of the Boone County Water Rescue team jumped with Nick and helped him out of the pool, all to thunderous applause from the large crowd.
|Nick Dautovic braved more than
and cold to take the
Kentucky-Ohio Plunge in Bellevue.
The Louisville Plunge on the last weekend of Plunge season provided what is believed to be a Kentucky Polar Plunge first. Sergeant Sean Delong, who is stationed at Fort Knox was welcomed on the docks at Tumbleweed on the Waterfront to plunge on his own, accompanied only by his girlfriend, April Pikago. Just as emcee Mandy Connell of 84 WHAS began to ask April why she had come onto the dock with Shaun, he was on one knee popping THE question. It is believed to be the first marriage proposal in SOKY Plunge history. And, of course, she said yes.
Sandwiched between those amazing individual moments, the Western Kentucky Polar Plunge once again shattered records with more than 500 Polar Bears taking part, raising more than $100,000 -- both topping last year's record totals. The Western Kentucky Plunge also added a 5k run/walk for the first time, including more people in the Plunge Weekend experience.
In all, more than 2,800 brave people jumped into pools, lakes and rivers throughout the state to support Special Olympics Kentucky athletes, raising more than $685,000.
Each year, following the Plunges, Special Olympics Kentucky draws one Grand Prize winner from among all Polar Bears who raise at least $250 to win a Caribbean Cruise courtesy of AAA Travel. This year, the award went to longtime Polar Bear and Polar Plunge supporter Beth Montgomery of Shepherdsville. Beth captained the Bullitt Central Plunge team that jumped in the Louisville Plunge. Congratulations, Beth, we hope you enjoy your warm up in the Caribbean!
Our thanks to each and every person who participated in the Plunge this year and to all of the sponsors and volunteers who helped this year's events go off without a hitch.
Click on the links below to see a recap of each of this year's six Kentucky Polar Plunge events.
For more information about the Plunge nearest you, contact Julie Goodpaster (Kentucky-Ohio, Lexington and Lake Cumberland) at 502-695-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Candace Thompson (Louisville, Owensboro, Western Kentucky) at 502-326-5002 or email@example.com.