JIM THORPE, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – So many of us look forward to spending time at the lake in the summer. But dozens of people flipped the script on Saturday and made the lake a winter destination.
And as you’re about to see, they were freezin’ for a reason.
What would possess a person to plunge into frozen Mauch Chunk Lake on a sub-freezing day?
“It’s been a crazy year so we wanted to do something a little crazy. We jumped in the water,” said Kevin Burkhardt, Polar Plunger.
No argument here, but there’s a far greater reason plungers by the dozen decided to take the dip.
“Well, you know the water is a little cold,” said Burkhardt.
“It’s very intense and, you know, I think that the draw of this is for people who are intense about Marian Catholic and Catholic education,” said Fr. Allen Hoffa, Interim Head of School, Marian Catholic High School.
This 8th Annual Polar Plunge benefits academics, athletics and performing arts at Marian Catholic High School. It’s the first plunge during a pandemic.
“We would love to raise awareness of Marian High School of course but also just tell people that it’s okay to come out and have fun and still be socially distant,” said Kathy Goff, Plunge Coordinator.
The secret to proving you’re not too cool for school is… well, there’s really no secret according to Fr. Hoffa.
“You’ve just got to do it. You’ve just got to abandon all of your inhibitions about it. Get after it, get it done, and just keep the kids in mind,” said Fr. Hoffa.
Some people plunged for the first time.
“I was very nervous. I feel pretty good that I did it. It was painful but fun so I’m not sad that I came,” said Lauren Pascoe, Polar Plunger.
Others come out every year like Scott Kershetsky.
“It’s kind of like almost like out of body or something like that. It helps me to kind of like connect. It makes me feel very grounded,” said Kershetsky.
Very gratified is what the Marian Catholic family feels about so many thrill-seekers who put aside their fears.
“It’s definitely cold but it’s for a good cause. It’s for the school. This is how we keep Marian going, you know, people reaching out from the community and helping us out,” said Maxwell Schwabe, Student Body President, Marian Catholic High School.
The Blue and Gold club, a fundraising arm of Marian Catholic High School, sponsored the “Freezin’ for a Reason” Polar Plunge. The event also marked the kickoff to Catholic Schools Week.