After a three week delay due initially to high water and excessive murkiness of the water at the Cabot Community Pond, the Cabot Polar Plunge for Special Olympics was conducted at the Cabot Aquatic Park, which opened on Saturday just for the event. April Kiser, the spokesperson for the event, said this year’s Polar Plunge raised $2507 for Special Olympics.
A total of 18 people on five teams participated in the event, and awards were given out for the most money raised, the best team costume, the best plunge of 2018, and the Cool School Award. Participating teams were the Cabot Police Department, Cabot Jr. High School North Student Council, Kiser Monster Inc., Hailey Jo Super Mario, and the Cabot High School Jr. Civitans. Plungers ranged in age from 12 years old to 45.
Cabot Police Department was awarded for raising the most money of the participating teams after raising $725 in donations. Hailey Jo – Super Mario was awarded for best costume, the Cool School Award went to Tori Kiser – Monsters Inc., representing Cabot Junior High School North, and the Cabot Police Department took a two-fer, also being awarded for the best plunge of 2018.
Plungers were given the option of diving from the Aquatic Park diving board into 12 feet of water, or stepping off of the shallow water entry platform into five feet of water. Those using the diving board had to go individually into the water, or in tandem, but the board was limited to no more than two people. The Cabot Junior High School Junior Civitan Club plungers opted for the platform so that all four members of the team could go into the water together. The rest of the plungers either dived or jumped from the diving board, with one even doing flips as she entered the water.
Kiser said participation in the event was down from previous years, but said she wasn’t surprised with the turnout, as Saturday was the start of Spring Break for many students.
“It probably didn’t help that it was the first weekend of Spring Break,” said Kiser. “It was originally scheduled February 24, however mother nature had different plans for us. With all of the rain we got during February, the water in Cabot Community Pond was high, and so much sediment was stirred up that there was zero visibility. Those conditions made it unsafe for first responders to assist in rescues if needed.”
Although temperatures reached the mid-to-high 70s on Saturday, the water in the swimming pool was considerably colder, evidenced by the almost universal sentiment voiced by plungers as they exited the water; “It’s coooold!”