(WKBN) – This Saturday at 1 p.m. at Trumbull County’s Mosquito Lake Beach, the annual Polar Plunge will take place. But Friday night, in the warmth of the Cortland Moose Lodge, people were signing up to take part.
As people were being served their Friday night dinners at the Cortland Moose Lodge in Mecca, Andy Barker and his wife Heidi were signing up again for Saturday’s Polar Plunge into Mosquito Lake.
“I’ve jumped in when the ice was 14 inches thick and that’s cold, and I’ve jumped in when there’s no ice and it’s still cold,” Andy said.
“The water’s definitely cold but before with the wind blowing and the waiting for it is cold. Then when you’re out afterwards, you want to see people and thank them for being there to support you. That’s when it’s really cold,” Heidi said.
Andy is Champion High’s baseball coach and he was also signing up 18 players.
“They got excited about jumping in, so the parents were on board. They loved it and my boys did a great job raising money,” Andy said.
The money raised by the Mosquito Lake Polar Plunge goes to Special Olympics of Ohio, to which the Cortland Moose provided a corner to sign people up early because Moose Clubs across Ohio sponsor Special Olympics.
“It all goes directly to Special Olympics to our local programs, to state games which we will start planning for in the upcoming months,” said Erica Taylor with Special Olympics of Ohio.
Ninety-year-old Minnie Wolfe says she’s been doing the Polar Plunge for 20 years. She says she does it for the kids.
“I’ve always worked with the handicapped children like Niles Fairhaven,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe doesn’t get all that cold because, she says, she has a system.
“You get your body cold and when you get in the water you don’t freeze,” Wolfe said.
It cost $75 to be part of the Polar Plunge or $50 if you’re 16 or under. People can still sign up from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Mosquito Lake Beach.
Awards are at 12:30 p.m. and the plunge is at 1 p.m.