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Saturday, February 16, 2008 -- Morgantown, WV / Cheat Lake
SOWV Polar Plunge:
Cheat Lake Chiller
(iPO Event Id#: 10582)

2008: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [2006] [2007]

Dunk In Go Nuts . . . Story and photos by Julie Black

SOWV Polar Plunge
SOWV Polar Plunge photos by Julie Black

As the sun peered over the brown hills the locals rolled in like the Cheat Lake fog, slow and steady. Oddly enough winter on this day had been replaced with 'Margaretville.' Women swayed about in plastic flowered lays and grass skirts as the men, wearing coconut bras, gave friendly high-fives.

The D.J. played Jimmy Buffet tunes as teams of volunteers wearing Hawaiian shirts and palm hats directed vehicles to the closest parking spot. It was a familiar sight for me.

SOWV Polar Plunge
Captain Plunger takes a dip in the lake.
The Polar Plunge at Cheat Lake is something that I've seen before and I can assure you that it's a sight worth showing up for, especially if you have a camera. For the fourth year in a row "Captain Plunger" lead the party.

Last year, the lake was so low people had to jump in a pool. This year, the lake was full enough for the traditional mayhem, running into the lake. Personally, I find the lake to be a much more exciting plunge, but Captain Plunger begged to differ.

"I like how we do it in Charleston, in the pool. Everyone has his or her moment you know? When it's in the lake, you really never know what to expect." He muttered.

I think Captain Plunger just didn't like the thought of how cold the lake actually is! Jumping in the lake is certainly colder than jumping in a pool and he gets wet for every event.

SOWV Polar Plunge
KLM Properties gets wet, well sort of.
The ceremony began with the always hilarious, costume contest. There were many repeat models in new costumes, but KLM Properties of Morgantown, WV stole the show in their Harlem Globetrotter outfits. After many strutted out on the catwalk it was time for the plunge.

The plunge area was lined with really excited plungers ready to run into the lake with groups ranging from two to ten.

Full emergency crews, ambulances, search and rescue, and dive teams were on site during the event. Two members from dive teams enter the water at plunge time to make sure everyone stayed safe, keeping them close to the shore.

Many plungers ran into the water with smiles and ran out with open mouths. The crowds cheered, the kids laughed, and everyone enjoyed the day. Afterwards, the party began at Lakeview Resort, where awards, food, and drink were shared throughout.

SOWV Polar Plunge
Kerry & Kirk Black
Now, the Plunge is not all fun and games, it's for a great cause. Plungers collect or offer donations to the Special Olympics of West Virginia and the money goes to help the event locally and in close by states.

If you missed it this year, don't miss it next year. It's a great opportunity to do something wild and crazy with your family and friends.

For the Record . . .

This was the second year in a row that my Mother-in-Law, Kerry Black, plunged with her two friends, Amber and Peggy. My 5-year old son watched with a big smile, "Go Grandma!" he shouted.

I watched too, clicking away as Kerry took an unintentional dive into the water, slipping on her way in. She emerged cold, still smiling, and hugging her friends.

Maybe one of these years I'll join her and make my husband take our picture, or maybe I'll just enjoy being behind the lens.

"Go Grandma! Go Mom! You go girl!"