Students Plunge for a Good Cause

Jaron Jenkins, Contributing Writer

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The fifth annual Spearfish Polar Plunge went off without a hitch last Sunday, where a large crowd cheered on those brave enough to plunge into the 52 degree water. The plunge was held at the Spearfish Recreation and Aquatic Center as a fundraiser for the Special Olympics South Dakota.

At the front of the crowd sat a large above ground swimming pool filled with cold water. To the side was a line, what seemed to be a mile long, of 252 participants that were waiting to take the plunge. Participants were not discouraged when temperatures outside dropped below 20 degrees.

Several students from BHSU took part in the event. There was participants from the BHSU men’s and women’s basketball team, along with members of the BHSU football team, golf, volleyball, rodeo, and other groups around campus who helped with donations.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the BSHU athletics raised $2,375 overall for the Special Olympics South Dakota. Baily Kusser, SAAC president and #23 on the basketball team, said she was happy with how much money they raised this year. Last year they raised about $1200 and she was glad to raise more this time.

“We were glad to help out, and that we could pitch in financially,” Kusser said

Along with the students, other individuals and business also participated in the plunge. Several people dressed up in costume. There was a guy in a horse head costume, a group from the police department dressed as prisoners, and a participant wearing about 30 balloons. The participants were excited to show their pride in raising money for a good cause and being able to brave the cold water.

“Another teammate and I both jumped, then we compared it (the water) to the ice baths we take after practice, and we decided it was colder than that,” said Kusser.

Volunteers along the pool helped participants when they emerged from the cold water and making sure everything went smoothly. A giant inflatable polar bear also stood watch over the crowd.

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