14th annual Pittsburg Polar Plunge draws big crowd

Over 100 people come out for "cool" fundraiser
14th annual Pittsburg Polar Plunge draws big crowd
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A cold morning got a lot colder for a whole lot of people in Pittsburg.. as they take part in the 14-th annual Polar Plunge.

Crimson Villas Apartments in Pittsburg.. the place where more than a hundred people faced the frigid water.. and took the plunge.

Jennifer Cardin, Pittsburg Resident:”The water was incredibly cold! I couldn’t breath when I got out of there.”

Jennifer Cardin isn’t a stranger to the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.. a cause she’s more than happy to support.

Cardin: “I work at Mosaic (in Pittsburg) and we work with individuals with intellectual disabilities, and Special Olympics is so incredibly important to the people that we support, and so this is just a great way to come out and show our support for the people that we love.”

This is the 14th year for the Pittsburg plunge their biggest.. and coldest.. fundraising event of the year.

Chris Moore, Pittsburg PD, Event Organizer:”It gives them the opportunity to travel, gives them the opportunity to do sports, gives them the opportunity to do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do, but we’re able to fund that through this.”

Erin Fletcher, Special Olympics Kansas:”It just shows how much the community really cares for our athletes.”

Fletcher says it’s great to see such a big turnout for this years event, especially since the plunge in Joplin had to be canceled this year because of low participation.

Fletcher:”It’s great that we have so many people coming..traditionally have always had a lot of people participate in ours. Really though, my heart goes out to them.. I wish it hadn’t happened to them. We definitely want to work together as much as possible with Special Olympics Missouri and over in Joplin to see what we can do to work together on things.”

But in the meantime.. those in Pittsburg will keep on jumping in for a good cause.

Cardin:”I’m gonna try to talk my kiddos into doing it next year and just try to get a bigger team of us.”

Fletcher:”This is a great event, it’s a cold day but this will warm your heart.”

Oour very own Michael Hayslip and Tawnya Bach emceed the event.. and even jumped in to finish out the day.

Tawnya was also surprised with a cake and music for her birthday.. right before they hit the freezing water.

Michael Hayslip, KOAM news:”This is just a small token of our appreciation as far as what they’re able to pull off. Not only for our community, but we’ve got some of the best Special Olympians worldwide right here in Pittsburg.”

Tawnya Bach, KOAM news:”And like I said, there wasn’t a thing i could be doing better on my birthday than supporting Kansas Special Olympics.”

This years Polar Plunge brought in more than 20-thousand dollars for Special Olympics, Kansas.