Polar Bear Plunge just a week away

The 23rd Annual Polar Bear Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Hartwell Marina. The event is hosted by the Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence and all proceeds go toward victim services.

Dr. Katherine Reusing, who is the organization’s executive director, said the plunge has something for just about everybody.

This is our 23rd Annual Polar Bear Plunge and it will be on Feb. 23, so that’s sort of exciting. It will be held at Hartwell Marina again this year. With it, for the last three years we’ve also held a Winter Festival. We have booths. I think we may have a bounce house this year and vendors with foods and all kinds of activities. We also put on a cake walk, which is a lot of fun. The crowd really likes that. We hope we get a lot of jumpers. I kind of checked on the weather. If it stays like it says it is, it might be sunny and no rain for next Saturday, so that’s kind of exciting,” said Reusing.

The Winter Festival also features a chili cookoff. Dr. Reusing talks about that event as well.

“This is our third or fourth chili cookoff. Every year it gets bigger. It’s one of my favorite parts because I love to eat and get to sample everybody’s chilis. People can come if they want to, and participate in that if they want to. We have two awards- the judges’ award and the people’s award. If people want to taste the chili we take a donation if they want, or not, and they get to taste the chilis so it’s kind of fun,” said Reusing.

To participate in the Polar Bear Plunge, contestants are encouraged to raise money for the council. Dr. Reusing said there were multiplel ways money can be raised.

We like them to raise $150, however they can do that, with sponsors, or however they want to do that. We have a new feature this year also. We’re featuing the jumpers on our Facebook page, and so people if they want to, can contribute to a jumper and say, ‘I’ll pay $20 to see this person jump.” So, if you’re interested in jumping, send us your bio and we’ll go ahead and put it up on our Facebook page. It’s just another way for people to raise money and also a way for people to know ahead of time who’s jumping and raise a little more excitement. I think that makes it more fun for everybody,” said Reusing.

Registration for the jumpers will be at 11 a.m. Vendors will also open at 11 a.m. Chili contest entries will be judged between 11 a.m. and noon. Jumpers will hit the water at 12:30 p.m. There will be music and vendors and other activities to keep the entire family entertained.

For more information call 706-377-4884.

This is just a portion of an interview Dr. Reusing sat in on for our Community Forum program. Tune in this Sunday just after noon to hear the complete interview.