EDENTON — With the water temperature hovering in the mid-40s, adults and children leaped into the cold waters of Edenton Bay during Saturday’s 6th annual Polar Plunge, organizers said.
Some 30 contributed monetarily to the cause, but apparently not all decided to splash into the frigid waters. And the makeup date may have posed a scheduling conflict. The event, previously scheduled for Feb. 23 was postponed due to inclement weather.
Organizers said Saturday that they haven’t yet tallied exactly how much was raised in support of Special Olympics through the Plunge.
“We do appreciate the support of all those who participated,” said Linda Hobbs, event chairwoman and director of the Exceptional Children’s Program for the Edenton-Chowan Schools.
Among the participants were fifth grader Sara Alligood and sixth grader Autumn Baker. While it was the second year both girls had jumped they said it was the first time they had done it together, as friends.
Sporting “Team Lesley” T-shirts in honor of Sara’a late aunt, Lesley Alligood Bell, and pink streaks in their hair, the girls said they wanted to pay tribute to Bell who at age 34 lost her battle with cancer in 2011.
“We’re doing this for my aunt that had cancer,” Alligood said with a smile, shivering from the cold air.
When asked how she felt about jumping, Alligood replied, “I’m kind of nervous. It’s colder than last year.”
Fellow sixth graders Ashlynn Langley and Dare Privott — who won the Best Costume Award at the close of the event — also took the plunge together this year for the first time. Calling themselves “Team Smiley” the two girls sported bright yellow smiley faces on their clothing and had them painted on their faces as well.
“I just really like smiley faces,” said Langley when asked about why they picked the well-known logo to incorporate into their team name.
In keeping with tradition Edenon-Chowan Schools Superintendent Allan Smith made the first leap into the water as the event got under way. As he hustled into the heated registration tent afterward, Smith was asked whether he thought the water was colder this year than last.
“It was cold,” Smith said with a big grin. “When it gets to a certain point, you can’t really make a distinction, it’s just cold!”
This was the third year that Mike Williams jumped during the Plunge on behalf of the Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club. Williams, a former county agricultural extension agent, said that his participation was in keeping with the club’s objective.
“The Optimist Club supports youth-related activities in the community,” Williams said.
Williams added that while the club makes a donation to support the event he also wanted to support the Plunge with his participation on behalf of the Optimists.
Besides the Best Costume Award, organizers of the Chowan Polar Plunge presented two others. They were: Youngest Participant — Blake Brabble; and Biggest Splash — The Pink Ladies. Members of the Pink Ladies team were Carson Ray, Caroline Forward, Breanna Potts and Ashley Richardson.