For the first ever Cave Spring Polar Plunge, the boldest of the bold from Floyd County will gather by the water’s edge and experience the extreme cold for a good cause.
Winnie Morrow of the Cave Spring Historical Society said the funds will be put toward the purchase and restoration of the Cherokee Log Cabin.
Terry Lemons, 65, of Cave Spring, has promised to take the plunge, not only to support the cause but to also do something daring.
“When I heard about it, I thought, I’m getting on up in years and you have to have a bucket list to maintain, so I’m putting that on my bucket list,” Lemons said.
Lemons said he isn’t at all nervous about the freezing feat and is no novice to swimming in the cold. “I’ve jumped into cold water before,” he said, explaining that he and his wife Christine have a pond on their property. “Last spring in April the pool was nice and full, the weather was warm, but the water was cold.”
He said he had been out walking the dogs and worked up a bit of a sweat, so he decided to jump in. “I’ve been in cold mountain streams and ponds before,” Lemons said. “I’m not going to stay in it and swim laps, but it will be fun.”
After he emerges from the freezing waters, Lemons said he will be ecstatic and will wear his T-shirt with pride.
“I can’t wait to get a T-shirt and show it off,” he said. “It’ll be kind of like a badge of courage. It will be good to be remembered for that. It will be a lot of fun, those of us who participate will enjoy it and the ones who watch will get a big laugh.”
He said he was also looking forward to the bonfire and New Year’s meal that follows the plunge.
“All the money goes to the cabin and the fee includes a T-shirt and a traditional lunch with black eyed peas, greens, cornbread, ham and other food,” said Morrow, adding that the lunch will be in the historic Hearn Academy building on the grounds of Rolater Park
The cost to jump in the spring-fed pool, which is chilly even during summer, is $25, and online registration ends today. Last minute jumpers can, however, register at Rolater Park on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
Morrow said she hadn’t had many people register as of Friday, but the dozens she’s heard who claim they’ll take the plunge may register the morning of the event.
Registration applications can be found online at cavespringhistoricalsociety.com.
She said plungers and onlookers may purchase a towel bearing the Polar Plunge logo for $15.
Morrow said she hopes many would flock to the frigid waters to support the good cause and would enjoy seeing the town’s historic structures.
The Historical Society encourages tourists to bring jugs to fill up with the pure spring water flowing out of the Cave, stay at one of the local bed and breakfasts and shop in the downtown area.
Morrow said those interested must call her or Mike Ragland as soon as possible to reserve a T-shirt. Morrow can be reached at 706-777-8542 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ragland can be reached at 706-777-3299 or at email@example.com.