Chattanooga Polar Plunge Raises Record Amount for Special Olympics

On a chilly morning, many Chattanooga residents along with WDEF’s own Chip Chapman took the Polar Plunge. 

What is 8,500 gallons of 40 degree water and a group of people just brave enough to jump in called?

It’s called the Polar Plunge. The event raises money for the Special Olympics. This is the 3rd year the event has taken place here in Chattanooga.

The plungers came out in full force, and many dressed especially for the occasion.

I caught up with a few of the participants to see how they were feeling before they went down into the icy water.

Senator Todd Gardenhire said, "A lot of anticipation, I’ll tell you what I’m having, second thoughts about jumping in that water."

WDEF’s Chip Chapman said, "I’m not nervous anymore, just a little apprehensive. I mean the water is cold, but at least, it’s a beautiful day to support Special Olympics."

Jerry Summers, a Polar Plunge sponsor said, "There is no fool like an old fool, and it’s for a good cause. My voice may go up 3 octaves, but it will be worth it."

Finally, it was time for the jump, and many hit the water in style, but when they got out, the story was all the same.

After the jump Senator Gardenhire said, "Cold man, it is cold in there."

And Chip had this to say, "I have done a lot of things for a lot of charities over the years. The Special Olympics is by far and away one of my most favorites, but I have never jumped into a big pool of water this cold for anybody, but you know what? Next year, I’ll do it again."

Well, this year’s Polar Plunge was definitely a huge success. They raised 20,000 dollars, more than any previous year here in Chattanooga,

and Chip Chapman was this year’s top fundraiser. So Chip, I’m sure they will be holding you to that pledge to jump next year.

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