Snow Lakers plan ‘Polar Bear Dive’ for February

By JOYCE LEGGETT BROCK/SOUTHERN ADVOCATE

SNOW LAKE — For several years running, residents of Snow Lake Shores have organized a chilly tradition that benefits charity.
On the appointed day – typically New Year’s Day – individuals plunge into the icy cold waters of Snow Lake to raise money for a local charity. Individuals can also participate without getting cold and wet – the divers seek sponsors ahead of time. Sponsors pledge to donate a certain amount of money if their divers actually goes into the cold water. The tradition will continue this year, but has been postponed to take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3:30 p.m.
Each year, the event benefits a local charity. More than once, it has benefitted the United Community Action Committee of Benton County. In the beginning, organizers made it their mission to ensure that funds raised stay within the county. The mission of Benton County CAC is “to enable low-income families and individuals of all ages in our served area to attain the skills, knowledge and motivations to become self-sufficient.”

Organizers are calling for participants and sponsors from in and around the county. Individuals who are interested in taking the plunge or in donating can contact Laurel Becker 662-224-3257 or Calvin Hightower 662-224-5170.
Last year, the event raised over $1,500 for the organization.
Beyond raising funds, the event provides much of what it was first organized for – entertainment. The annual plunge turns into a sort of mini-festival on the beach of the lake. Many participants dress in festive costumes – from the New Year’s Baby to super heroes. Laughter fills the area as people intermingle and prepare to watch the fun.