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Saturday, February 18, 2006 -- Cheat Lake - Morgantown, WV
SOWV Polar Plunge Cheat Lake Chiller (iPO Event Id#: 7243)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage]

Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Photo by Julie Black
Sponsors take the plunge
The 2nd year of the Special Olympics West Virginia Polar Plunge Cheat Lake Chiller featured a 22 degree, snowy day. How'd the water feel? Well, how does 30 degrees sound? That's right... cold! Yet over 100 plus brave souls, some in nothing but their summer suits, ran, walked, even waltzed into the water to support the Special Olympics athletes of West Virginia.

It all began with an entertaining costume contest. The early afternoon plunge at Sunset Beach Marina, raised over $25,700 this year. How does it work? With $50 in donations set as the minimum, many of the participants raise even more, $100, $200, some in up to $500 for the cause.

Photo by Julie Black
Captain Plunger warms it up at the costume contest
The donations allow the participant to plunge in with the other plungers, and get into the awards ceremony. There, plungers get a nifty T-shirt, as well as basic bragging rights, and some of the higher donors are awarded cash prizes, fleece jackets, and even a complimentary stay and breakfast at Lakeview Resort.

Area co-workers and volunteers from organizations join together and form teams to show their support. This year, many college students joined the efforts, many painting their bodies and faces in preparation for the big UCONN vs. WVU men's basketball game.

Photo by Julie Black
Thanks to all who helped out
The top teams to raise the most money this year was the 4-memeber team of KLM Properties, raising $2,660. The top individual, Pat Cahill with a total of $2, 311. Special thanks goes out to Allegheny Energy and Barry Frye.

Additional support was given by Howard Hanna, West Virginia Junior College, Centra Bank, Accordia, Lakeview Resort, WVU Hospitals, and University Health Associates. Also, thanks to the Morgantown Fire Department, and the Mon EMS dive team. To find out more go to the Special Olympics athletes of WV web site and see the offcial WV Polar Plunge site.