Taking the plunge
Pine Creek Polar Bear Plunge set for Sunday
Hours after ushering in 2017, people will be taking a chilly dip in Pine Creek for charity.
The eighth annual Pine Creek Polar Bear Plunge will be held at 1 p. m. Sunday at Valley ViewPark. Registration begins at noon atValleyViewGun Club, with a $ 20 fee that includes the event T- shirt featuring mascot Pine Creek Pete, pork and sauerkraut dinner, and entertainment by Remy St. Martin from Parrot Beach, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. Participants under the age of 18 must have a signature froma parent or guardian.
Jim Reed, organizer, said they usually get about 100 people, along with spectators and pets, to attend the event. He said they raise between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000, which goes to benefit the Pine Creek Trout Nursery.
Each year, the nursery raises more than 6,000 trout fingerlings. The adult trout are used to stock area streams. More than 2,000 trout are stocked for the annual Kids Trout Rodeo, which is annually held the first Saturday in June.
Reed said the polar plunge is the biggest fundraiser for the nursery.
The plunge will be held inwhatever theweather may be. The last two years have shown the extremes, and howweather affects the event.
In 2015, the water temperature the morning of the plunge was 34 degrees. Ice had formed overnight on the creek and had to be broken. About 100 people made the plunge and the event raised more than $ 5,000.
Last year, the water temperature was 44 degrees and no ice formed on the creek. About 60 people made the dive. Reed thought the warmer weather may have played a role in the lower turnout, according to newspaper archives.
“In the past, the colder the better,” Reed said.
Sunday’s forecast looks to be similar to last year’s. According to the NationalWeather Service, temperatures are expected to be in the low40s under partly sunny skies.
Despite last year’s figure, Reed said the event is gaining popularity mostly because of social media, specifically Facebook. For more information, visit the Facebook page at Pine Creek Polar Bear Club or call Reed at 570- 682- 3707.
Pam Ulicny, Valley View, left, makes her way through the 44- degree water back to land during last year’s Pine Creek Polar Bear Plunge. This year’s event, which benefits Pine Creek Trout Nursery, will be held at 1 p. m. Sunday at Valley View Park, Valley View.