Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 24, 2013

‘Plunge’ with a heart on the way

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Work is already getting started for an event that’s making a very big splash in the heart of Pauls Valley for the best of causes.

It’s called a Polar Plunge, which brings communities together in the truest sense to raise money for the Special Olympics of Oklahoma.

For the past three years Pauls Valley has hosted a Plunge for the southern Oklahoma region called Fun Country.

All of the plunges here have been a big hit. In fact all three have been so successful they’ve put this region near the very top in raising money for the Special Olympics each year.

With law enforcement being a big supporter of the Polar Plunge events, Pauls Valley Police Chief Mitch McGill believes the past three events here have been so successful because of the people in this region of the state.

“My guess as to why it’s been successful — smaller town, rural people are just caring people,” McGill said.

PV is set to again play host to the next Plunge event, this one in March 2014, for the region that includes Garvin, Pontotoc, Murray and Carter counties.

With the last two events held in PV’s Wacker Park there is a possibility the next one could be moved a short distance to the new water park located next to the Reynolds Recreation Center.

“I think if we get it at the swimming pool it will be even bigger,” McGill said.

In preparation for next year’s event, efforts with the fundraising plans are getting cranked up soon as a planning committee meeting is set for October.

“We’re always looking for volunteers, so if anyone is interested in helping give me a call,” said the police chief adding the phone number to call is the local police station, 405-238-5531.

As for McGill, he plans to get even more involved in the event’s planning as he’s been selected to take part in a big time Polar Plunge conference set for Nov. 6-10.

McGill is referring to the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which is the top supporter of the Polar Plunge events and the Special Olympics.

“They have funded me to go to Orlando, Florida for an international conference,” McGill said.

“It’s about educating us, about what we can do to raise more money, what we can do to make the event even better,” he said.

“I feel like it’s a privilege they asked me to go.”