The air temperature was about 40 degrees Saturday morning in Hays for the fourth annual Polar Plunge Special Olympics fundraiser. The high hit 56 degrees, but at 11 o’clock, the crowd surrounding the fence at America’s Value Inn motel, was bundled up, unlike the participants.
This was the first year Ellis County Sheriff’s detective Scott Braun “took the plunge” with team “Chill Seekers.”
“It was cold, not quite as cold as I expected, but I didn’t stay in the water very long,” said Braun, “and then I headed right for the hot tub.”
Prizes are awarded for teams and individuals raising the most money; teams are also judged on plunging technique, and their costumes. The Carrico Implement “Polar Plungers” team, of course, wore plungers on their heads.
Polar Plunges are the largest and most popular fundraising event for Special Olympics Kansas. Some of the money comes back to Hays which hosts the annual Special Olympics Kansas basketball tournament.
Would first-time polar plunger Scott Braun do it again? “Oh, yes, you’ll see me again next year,” he vows.