EDENTON — Even pennies count when you’re collecting for a good cause.
With that thought in mind organizers of the 6th annual Chowan Polar Plunge have brought back a popular event this year — Pennies for Polar Plunge.
The Polar Plunge will be held at the downtown Edenton waterfront Feb. 23. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. Jumping, which starts at noon, costs $25 per person — watching is free.
Participating students at White Oak Elementary and Chowan Middle School are collecting pennies — along with nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars from family and friends in support of Special Olympics as part of the local Pennies for Plunge effort.
Shannon Ray, who serves on the local planning committee, said that all the money raised by the children would benefit Chowan County Special Olympics.
“We did this fundraiser several years ago and raised over $1,000,” Ray said.
Ray and Linda Hobbs, who spearhead the annual event, said they hoped to have over 50 jumpers participate this year.
“We do have a few jumpers that pre-register, but most register the day of the event,” Ray said.
Hobbs said that the weather so far this month has been well above freezing most days and nights, and that organizers hope the trend will continue for the final days before the Plunge so participants won’t become too uncomfortable with the cold bay.
“For the Plunge, the water should be cold but it would be nice for the sun to be shining to warm jumpers up when they get out of the water,” Hobbs said.
One of the highlights of the event is always enjoying the costumes that some of the jumpers wear.
“Lots of people dress up to jump,” Ray said.
The theme of costumes has varied widely over the years depending on the creativity and imagination of individual jumpers.
“We have had super heroes, chickens, shower curtains and toilet plungers, and even Smurfs,”
Ray said. “We have also had lots of painted faces and colored hair.”
Lots of activities are planned that day in conjunction with the Plunge. They will get under way at 9 a.m. and are scheduled to include a silent auction, vendors, music, concessions and a kids area.
A special “Plunge” for children age 9 and younger will start at 11:30 a.m. They will have the chance to walk through a kiddie pool that has been lightly sprinkled with rubber ducks so that they can be a part of the fun, Hobbs said.
An awards ceremony is also planned once the Polar Plunge draws to a close so that winners can be recognized, Hobbs said.
Anyone interested in more information about this year’s Polar Plunge may contact Linda Hobbs at 482-4436 or email questions to email@example.com. Hobbs is the director of the Exceptional Children’s Program for the Edenton-Chowan Schools.