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Cold water for a good cause

Participants jump into the Foy Center pool during the Polar Plunge Thursday, Jan. 31.
Participants jump into the Foy Center pool during the Polar Plunge Thursday, Jan. 31. Brandon Cauthen | Staff Photographer

>>Philip Sparn
News Editor

More than a hundred APSU students, faculty and staff plunged into the cold waters of the Foy Center pool on Thursday, Jan. 31, to benefit the SOS Food Pantry in the fourth annual APSU Polar Plunge.

At 3 p.m. the water temperature in the Foy Center pool was 48 degrees and the outside temp was 43 degrees, according to University Recreation but the cold air and water did not stop 135 brave members of the APSU community from jumping in.

An estimated 674 cans of non-perishable food were collected for the SOS Food Pantry on campus for students in need, according to Jason Wills, assistant director of programs.

Freshman marine biology major Dustin Burney and senior business marketing major Gary Willis warm up after taking a dip in the Foy Center’s pool at Polar Plunge.
Freshman marine biology major Dustin Burney and senior business marketing major Gary Willis warm up after taking a dip in the Foy Center’s pool at Polar Plunge. Brandon Cauthen | Staff Photographer

Not only were participants there to help raise food supplies for the SOS Food Pantry, they were also there for a good time.

“It was a lot more fun than I had expected,” said Sierra White, freshman political science major. “It definitely took my breath away and it was really cold, but I am looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Many participants wore costumes for the plunge. There were participants dressed in cowboy hats, aerobic outfits, speedo’s and even Care Bear costumes.

President Tim Hall did not break tradition and plunged in the pool wearing a suit and tie as he has done the last several years. There were also many APSU nursing students that jumped in wearing their red and white scrubs as well.

Sophomore business major Brena Andring poses with freshman Lindsey McCoy after taking the plunge
Sophomore business major Brena Andring poses with freshman Lindsey McCoy after taking the plunge. Brandon Cauthen | Staff Photographer

Many of the nursing students also broke out in a flash mob dance routine just before the plunge to add some more entertainment to the event.

This year, University Recreation incorporated a team canned food drive into the Polar Plunge. Nineteen teams plunged into the pool and competed to raise the most cans in order to win a private pool party for their groups.

Members of the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance won the group competition, donating 126 cans for the SOS food pantry, according to University Recreation.
For many participants, the anxiety of waiting for the plunge was the hardest part.

“The wait was probably colder than the plunge itself even though the water is way colder than I am used to,” said Craig Rossiter, sophomore digital media major. “It was a great experience and I recommend everyone to come try it out next year.”

Participants rush out of the cold water after the plunge.
Participants rush out of the cold water after the plunge. Brandon Cauthen | Staff Photographer

Check out our video from the fourth annual Polar Plunge:

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About Philip Sparn, News Editor

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One comment

  1. The “flash mob” was not a flash mob, but a pre-scheduled Zumba demonstration led by University Recreation’s Zumba instructor, Doris.