Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 11, 2013

Another big splash for PV ‘plunge’ — It was another big splash for the regional Fun Country Polar Plunge event hosted by Pauls Valley just about a week ago.

The plunge, one of many throughout the state held to raise money for the Special Olympics of Oklahoma, was the third one ever here in PV. It also proved to be even bigger than the last two.

PV Police Chief Mitch McGill, one of many who worked to make the event a success, said there were a lot of positives about the event held March 2 in the local Wacker Park.

“I’m excited about the weather that day, the support and the turnout for the event,” McGill said.

“We had very good support from law enforcement and first-responders and just overall from the Ada area, Sulphur and here in Pauls Valley,” he said.

“We did a very good job of making money for a good cause.”

The numbers say a lot about the event as in the neighborhood of $41,000 was raised, while there were 81 plungers taking the dive into some chilly water.

Both surpass last year’s totals and this year’s goal. That keeps it as one the top plunge events in the entire state.

In comparison, last year 68 people jumped into the water here as about $31,000 in donations and pledges were raised.

Another interesting number is $5,000, which is the total donated by local car dealer Seth Wadley to see PV City Manager James Frizell take the plunge.

According to McGill, Wadley had already donated $2,500 to the Polar Plunge cause, making him one of the top contributors for the event.

Then came an offer that couldn’t be refused.

“He said that if we could get the city manager to jump off into the water he would contribute another $5,000,” McGill said, referring to Wadley. “It was Seth’s idea. The agreement was he had to be submerged from head to toe.

“They put it in writing and I took it to James. Without hesitation he said absolutely.”

The other top contributor with a donation of $2,500 was Skyline Energy Solutions.

Another of the various groups helping out was the Nasty Bastards motorcycle riding club of Pauls Valley.

The club held a poker run prior to the event as all the proceeds were donated to the plunge cause.

Although the event proved to be successful it nearly didn’t happen.

The reason — the strict water restrictions now in place here in Pauls Valley because of an ongoing drought.

Derrick Jolley, assistant police chief for the local department, said those restrictions did represent a threat to the Polar Plunge event itself since a small pool of water was needed for the those taking the dive.

He is quick to stress he and others were determined to do whatever they could to keep the Plunge in play.

“We had to get special permission from the city for the water,” Jolley said.

Had that permission not been given Jolley said a back-up plan was in place.

“We were not going to cancel the event,” he said. “We had already taken sponsorships, and it’s just too good a cause to cancel over the water rationing.”

The back-up plan was to get some help from a nearby rural water district and the city of Stratford.

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