By Matt Miller email@example.com
Taking the plunge
The Polar Plunge at Big Creek is just one of the 13 plunges in the state
You would normally see members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department dressed in uniform, not in superhero outfits. But next week that will change when the law enforcement officers, along with other participants, take the plunge into Big Creek during the fourth annual Polar Plunge. The bone-chilling activity — a single plunge or SUPER plunge — will benefit Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA).
“I’ve participated in both types of plunges, and it’s always a good time,” said Deputy Jana Rooker. “The SUPER plunge can be a bit difficult from 2 to 4 a.m., but everyone feeds off each other. The plunge brings people together to support one great cause.”
Approximately 12 members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department will participate in the SUPER (Some Unbelievable Plungers Enter Repeatedly) on Nov. 12-13, and will again take the dip into Big Creek later that day. SUPER plunge participants will jump into the lake beginning at noon on Friday and re-enter the water every hour for 24 hours until 11 a.m. on Saturday. Each participant has been asked to raise at least $2,000 in donations for SOIA, which will then provide year-round sports training and competition for approximately 11,000 SOIA athletes and Unified Sports Partners who represent the state’s 99 counties. The athletes participate in more than 80 sporting events. The Polar Plunge is just one of 13 total annual plunges in the state. Currently, Ames, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Fort Dodge, Indianola, Iowa City, Mount Pleasant, Northwest Iowa, Waterloo and Sioux City each hold their own Polar Plunge.
“All of the funds raised remain in Iowa, and they will help athletes with transportation, and it also supports the families so they can get involved, too,” Rooker said. “The activity and the funds raised really raise the morale of everyone involved.”
The Polar Plunge is also the final big fund-raising event for The Iowa Law Enforcement Torch Run during the calendar year. The event is the largest year-round fund-raising event benefiting SOIA with the goal of raising money and increasing public awareness for SOIA athletes. According to the SOIA website, each year, more than 500 officers in Iowa run more than 400 miles with the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the SOIA State Summer Games in Ames in May. In 2009, the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Iowa raised more than $420,000. This year the Torch Run raised more than $500,000. Internationally, the Torch Run involves more than 90,000 law enforcement officers in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and territories and 35 nations.
“Our department is looking forward to finalizing the Torch Run at the Polar Plunge,” Rooker said. “At this point, I just have one thing on my mind — temperature.”
Rooker remembers last year’s temperatures during the event being in the mid 60s and is hopeful for another warm-weather day.
“The water temperature wasn’t even close to that, but the energy that everyone had kept us motivated to keep going in the water,” Rooker said. “I think the colder temperatures blew in last week, but we’re prepared for anything.”
Locker Room note: 3XWrestling will present “November Knockout 2” on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust St. Doors open at 7 p.m. and bouts begin at 7:30 p.m. The evening includes a pure wrestling championship and an eight-man elimination tag match. Advance tickets are available at Jay’s CD & Hobby, 3315 S.E. 14th St., or Cup O’Kryptonite, 4521 Fleur Drive. Tickets are $15 at the door for adults, $6 for children ages 10 and under and free for kids age 3 and under. Visit www.3xwrestling.com. CV
Caption: Polar Plunge participants will enter the water at Big Creek on Nov. 12-13. Photo courtesy of Deputy Jeanette Steinfeldt