The Athens Polar Bear Plungefest – Where Were You?

These young women would have you believe they are happy. I personally believe freezing off important and much needed body parts is not truly a pursuit of happiness.

Polar Bear Plunge 2

He is either screaming in pain because he is losing fingers, toes and other digits (like his nose) to the cold or he is praying to the good Lord for relief from his pain. Either way the boy is hurting.








Athens, Georgia holds a high place of honor among those communities that continually organize fund raisers for charity and so many needy causes. Hardly a day goes by that Athens people are not engaged in efforts to help those who are less fortunate than those of us who are the more lucky ones.

This past Saturday about 150 of these wonderful people went out to Lake Chapman at Sandy Creek Park and there, in all stages of dress and undress, they leaped into frigid waters and raised over $10,000.00 for charity.

I have always admired people who have so much energy and who express a wonderful depth of altruistic feeling for their fellow man.

I tried to get Katie Mae to go out there with me so I could show support for these wonderful volunteers but like me Katie Mae is a creature of comfort.

I explained the Plungefest folks offer you three varying degrees of participation when plunging, or maybe, not exactly plunging, into the freezing water.

You can take the big plunge by yourself by jumping all the way in.  You can plunge in with a group if you are a great “Misery loves company,” believer. I preferred the Benjamin P. and Katie Mae Swilley method of contributing. It is called the, “Chicken Dip.” You just dip a toe in and that’s it.

Katie Mae told me to forget it (chicken dip or not) and if I didn’t forget it she would help me forget it. She said she would rather spend the rest of her life in prison for killing me rather than go out there and slip even one tiny pinkie in that cold water.

So, you see, Polar Bear Plungers, I tried my best to join you and offer my support to you but since life is still beautiful and I enjoy breathing so much I did not argue with her. I went out on the back deck and tipped my hat to you brave, noble gals and guys.

Believe me, I made it a quick tip.

It was cold on that deck.

Polar Bear on ice floe

This is the real deal. You don’t see any brave souls out there with this bad boy because playing in freezing cold water may only be harmful to you for a while, playing with Polar Bears is non-habit forming and the results are permanently damaging to you….all over.

Polar Bear Plunge

This is the only picture that is of the group in Athens and I stole it from The Athens Banner-Herald. These are really good people although the activity in which they are participating in no way speaks to their general sanity.







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2 thoughts on “The Athens Polar Bear Plungefest – Where Were You?

  1. Ben, great article. Thanks for the support. Maybe next year there should be an armchair plunge category!!

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