Polar plunge raises $30,000 education

The 2017 Polar Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek and Environmental Education surpassed its goal to raise $30,600 this year, with 145 people braving Lake Junaluska’s chilly waters Feb. 4 to participate. 

It was a balmy 17 degrees when volunteers arrived at 8 a.m. and warmed up to 40 by the time the plunge began — with no wind, sun and a couple of raging bonfires, it may have been the warmest plunge yet. 

The top fundraisers in each category were Seth Early, Shining Rock Classical Academy and the Maggie Flyers. Haywood County Schools alone raised more than $3,000. 

The best costume awards went to Mary Roderick and Tanya Poole, who dressed as mayflies; Carol Adams, a cat; and Scott Nielsen, Batman. 

The event, organized by Haywood Waterways Association and hosted by the Lake Junaluska Assembly, raises money for Haywood Waterways’ environmental education efforts. Next year’s event will be Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. 

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