Many Lake Saint Louis residents may not have known this, but on Saturday, February 3, the 15th annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Missouri was held here on Lake Saint Louise (small lake).
Residents (and many more non-residents, such as the Crystal City School District) came out to run and dip in the ice cold waters, all to benefit Special Olympics in our own state. (It was ice cold water, as earlier in the week the Lake was iced over!) These plungers raise tens of thousands of dollars each year to send the kids and young adults to compete in many sports that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. It builds teammanship, self confidence, and pride in these very special athletes. There were four participants who had plunged all 15 years! Lake Saint Louis was the first location in the St. Louis area for the Polar Plunge until it got so large – 700+ participants, the Creve Coeur Lake venue was added. I thought they were crazy that first year as I watched them plunge in 10 degree weather! It wasn’t until I became alderman, and former Police Chief Mike Force asked me to join him. Now, I have just completed my 9th Polar Plunge, and hope to be in many more to benefit this wonderful charity.
This year’s event had around 400 “Plungers”, and raised almost $95,000, bringing the total raised in 15 years to over $1.2 million for Special Olympics.
Again, Lake Saint Louis resident – Dave Hurst – raised over $11,000 – the top individual. Groups included schools (like Green Tree Elementary teachers), Police Forces, cities, etc.
This event could not have been held without all of the volunteers – Lake Saint Louis Police, Lake St. Louis Fire Dept., O’Fallon Police, St. Charles County Ambulance, Wentzville Police, major sponsors like Toyota Bodine, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine, Premier Rentals, 93.7 the Bull, Z107.7, KLOU 103.3, 104.9, and Texas Roadhouse and Steak n Shake providing the yummy lunch for the “After Party” for participants and their friends and family. Last, but certainly not least, our Lake St. Louis Community Association donated their clubhouse for the 15th year to hold this event – the nicest location by far in the state with indoor heated changing rooms.
In addition, the CA Ambassadors Club volunteered their time taking registration, directing plungers, and many behind the scenes jobs. What an excellent event to showcase our city and community volunteerism! I’m looking for volunteers to join me in my 10th Plunge in February 2019!