On Saturday, January 27, 2007, for the third consecutive year, members of the Maryland Outdoor Club gathered together in support of the Special Olympics Maryland. With the Chesapeake Bay a mere 37 degrees, 20 brave soles took the 11th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge.
The past two years, the MOC team has had three people plunging. This year, that number went up a great deal to 20. And, before, a $500 team fundraising effort has now surpassed $4,000 in online and offline donations.
Most of the group started out at 8 AM in the morning at a joint bus tailgate with the Chamber of Ravens Nests in Baltimore, MD. We got to the park at about 9:20 AM. Meanwhile, we socialized and enjoyed beer on the bus. There was also a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the bus driver’s tip. No one from our group won any of the four prizes (half the money, or three Ravens bobble head dolls).
Once at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, we unloaded and helped setup for the tailgate. We had hotdogs, hamburgers, mac & chili, cookies, etc. and more beer. The Chamber of Ravens Nests did a great job putting this together for over 90 people that had filled the two buses or came for the tailgate only portion.
By about 12:30 PM, we had collected most of our group and decided to check in. Once we checked in, we got our access bands for the beach and lunch, our sweatshirts, and goody bags. (We will get a group photo in the mail after the event, at which time we’ll scan it and add it to the site here). There were so many things going on in the registration tent that it was drawing a huge crowd, so we skipped checking it out. I know some of our other teammates did get to see the pig racing, etc. earlier in the morning. Many of us did get to see the sand sculpture in the making, which was neat.
At about 1:15-ish, we gathered up the troops back at the bus and headed down to the Plunge Zone. From here, we waved around our MOC signs and watched the group costume contest entries on the stage. We also got a glimpse at some pretty obscene outfits on the beach. One character was escorted back to the changing tent by the MSP.
At 2 o’clock, we striped to our bathing suits and ran down to the water with the other 7,400 crazy people and jumped in the icy cold water. It happened so fast, and I tried to take photos, but didn’t get as many as I thought I had taken. It was damn cold. Some of our group went up to their chest, others less than that. Then, we immediately ran to the heated changing tents to get into some warm clothes.
After the Plunge, we tailgated some more, back at the buses and left the park at about 4 PM. We got mooned on the way out of the park.
The Special Olympics Maryland raised over $2 million in this year’s event. That’s double the intake from 2006. A HUGE thank you to all that participated that day and an EVEN BIGGER thank you to all of you guys that supported us by sponsoring us. You know who you are…
Next year, let’s make this even bigger and better. We’re shooting for at LEAST 50 people on our team and at LEAST $10,000 raised.
P.S. To learn more or donate year-round to the Special Olympics Maryland, please visit their web site
Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Amy Lipsius at email@example.com
. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event.