Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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January 27, 2014

Work underway for PV’s chilly dive

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — This week’s biting chill in the air might only be an appetizer for the potential cold of yet another Polar Plunge event coming to Pauls Valley.

With all proceeds again going to help some very “special” people, this year’s plunge scheduled for March 1 will be the fourth one here in PV.

Although the splashing to raise money for the Special Olympics of Oklahoma is still weeks away, the event’s local director says work is already well underway.

“We’re getting corporate sponsorships renewed right now in the Pauls Valley and Ada areas,” said Elizabeth Sam, a local teacher and Special Olympics coach.

“And our plungers are out collecting pledges to plunge.”

She’s quick to add there’s some urgency there as corporate sponsorships are due by Feb. 20.

This year’s Polar Plunge will feature a whole new feel as the event is being moved to the brand new water park located only a few yards away from the local Wacker Park band shell used the past couple of years.

“It will be awesome to have an actual pool instead of having to baby-sit a temporary pool to make sure it’s not leaking,” Sam said.

As for the Polar Plunge itself, the regional event that includes a number of counties has been in Pauls Valley since the first one in 2011, which raised about $13,000 for the Special Olympics.

That fundraising total has been on the rise every since with about $31,000 in the second year.

Then came last year’s big splash which for the second straight year allowed the PV plunge to raise the second most in the entire state trailing only Oklahoma City.

Pauls Valley’s plunge in 2013 raised around $47,000 for Special Olympics with around 140 people taking the dive into the cold water.

“Our goal this year is to raise $50,000 and have 150 plungers,” Sam said.

“I also want to give a shout out to the community for being so supportive of this event.

“We even have two of our sponsors who will have their names and logos appearing on the back of the statewide T-shirt,” she said, referring to Seth Wadley Auto Group and Skyline Energy Services for their high level of support.

Sam is encouraging anyone wanting to get involved, either as a plunger or to donate to the cause, to check out firstgiving.org online or the “plunge bears” located at stores all over town.

“The best way to get involved is to look for the plunge bears and look (online) or they can call me,” she said, adding her phone number is 580-465-0912.

Another way is to work on a committee or help out on the day of the event.

The next Polar Plunge meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the local police station.

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