Polar Plunge into freezing water

Students from Crescent Valley High School take the plunge

Cassidy Wood, Multimedia Contributor

This annual event was held off of Crystal Lake Drive in downtown Corvallis. 50 teams were signed up to participate this year, and the event raised a total of $53,484—beating their goal of $50,000, all in the name of raising money for the Special Olympics.

The radio station 106.3 KLOO was one of the key sponsors for the event.  The host of the station, Debi Starr, emceed the event for her eighth year in a row.

“We wanted to do something to help a good cause,” Starr said.  “And this seemed like the perfect fit. This is our 8th year participating, and I’ve been the emcee every year.  We wanted to do just help bring people together. So we have a DJ, some games and some vendors; in addition to the plunge itself. It’s a festive atmosphere.”

Some Oregon State University students participated in the plunge, in addition to local families and businesses. Students from various sororities and fraternities, as well as student athletes, took the jump into the 38 degree water to help raise money.

“We decided to join because we thought it would be a good opportunity to reach out to the community, and show our support for Special Olympics,” said junior middle blocker for the Oregon State volleyball team, Daniela Vargas.  “We have the volleyball team out here, and some track girls too, and we’re all really excited to be here!”

The annual event has some traditions, including West Albany High School showing up with by far the most participants agreeing to plunge into the river.

Max White, a teacher at West Albany High School, has led his students into the frozen water every time.

“We’ve done this every year,” White said. “Personally, I’ve done it about a dozen times. I used to be a Command Chief in the Oregon National Guard, so I used to plunge up at the Columbia River with the military. This is just something where, once you do it once, you want to keep coming back. It’s very exciting and the community atmosphere is great.”

Was this article helpful?