March 23, 2009

Record 300 jump into frigid lake

Organizers of the sixth annual Lake Tahoe Polar Plunge on the California-Nevada border said a record 300 people turned out to jump into the 39-degree water.

Jody Filgo, who started the annual event six years ago with Elaine Glasser to benefit the Special Olympics, said at least 300 people jumped into the frigid lake Saturday to raise nearly $40,000 for the organization, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported Monday.

Filgo said the turnout Saturday was better than I ever would have imagined. People have come from all over for this. It is a real team effort.

Participant Adam Turner, part of the Heavenly Sports Quick Silver store team, said he could think of no better way to kick-off spring than a jump into the chilly waters.

Besides, the Special Olympics is a good, worthy cause, he said. Heavenly Sports continues to donate equipment for the ski program.

Kirsten Cherry, spokeswoman for the Special Olympics of Northern California and Northern Nevada, said the turnout was especially surprising given the current state of the economy.

Even in this economy, to see this many people come out and raise money through individual donations, is amazing, she said. We're so grateful to those who support us in any way they can. Today's turnout was amazing.