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Polar plungers dive for charity

By April Dittmer, Purdue Exponent

1330 days ago   Article ID# 1448841
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Indiana Special Olympics

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA (Purdue Exponent) - Despite the freezing temperatures Saturday morning, 228 people took the plunge into icy, cold water to raise money for the Indiana Special Olympics.

The third annual Purdue Polar Plunge was held outside of Lambert Fieldhouse. It was one of five polar plunges that are taking place on college campuses this year as part of the campus challenge.

As the time for the plunge neared, spectators made their way outside bundled in scarves and hats against the cold breeze. The first plungers emerged, taking off their shoes and tiptoeing their way across the cold pavement. The audience gasped and took a giant step back as the first plunger hit the water, splashing those standing too close.

Lynne Buckley-Noble, chair of the Purdue Polar Plunge, braved the cold and took the plunge herself, as she does every year.

“It really wasn’t that bad,” Buckley-Noble said. “We had the sun out today and we’ve never had the sun shining on us before, so it felt really good.”

The Purdue Marine and Navy ROTC had the largest group of plungers, with 36 members raising over $6,000. The entire group, while chanting “U-S-A,” remained in the pool until their 36th member jumped in.

Teresita Aviles, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, has volunteered at the event since it began in 2010. This is the second year she has plunged.

“The first year I just volunteered, and I didn’t plunge,” Aviles said. “The second year I was like, all right, let’s do this. I got a lot of people pumped and excited this year to do it with me, so it was really exciting.”

Purdue is competing against Butler, Ball State, Indiana State and Valparaiso for the campus challenge’s prize, a football helmet that acts as a traveling trophy. The helmet is awarded to the school that raises the most money.

Buckley-Noble said this year’s event had double the plungers and raised double the money, bringing in over $40,000. She has hopes that Purdue will bring home the trophy and win the campus challenge for a third time.

“This is (the challenge’s) third year, and the helmet has two stickers on it, and they’re both Purdue stickers,” Buckley-Noble said. “I have a good feeling we’re going to get a third sticker on that helmet this year.”

Copyright 2015 Purdue Exponent   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1330 days ago   Article ID# 1448841

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