The polar bear plunge once again will be a main attraction during Neillsville’s Winter Carnival. The event will be at noon Saturday at the Listeman Park pond.
This is the 10th year for the plunge, said Rotary member Mike Lacey. The Rotary Club sponsors the event, and almost every member participates in it.
The basic reason for the event is to give nonprofit organizations an avenue to channel fundraising through the Rotary Club, Lacey said. Organizers have an average of 75 jumpers plunging for eight to 10 organizations, he said.
Most of the money — 90 percent — that is raised is given back to the organizations for their charities or projects. The other 10 percent is used to pay for the event.
According to Lacey, the Special Olympics has the biggest group of jumpers every year. The kids get the biggest bang out of jumping; they’re proud of jumping, Lacey said.
Before there can be a polar plunge jump, Rotary members cut the ice, pull it out of the pond and lower the cage into the pond. A Rotary wheel is carved on an ice chunk with a chainsaw.
The meaning behind Rotary is that the meetings will be at different locations — to be mobile and to keep its presence in communities, Lacey said.
The Rotary Club has been in existence for more than100 years. One of the biggest projects is to have clean well water in all parts of the world. The Rotary Club has partnered with the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation to eradicate polio in the world.
Registration for the plunge is at 11:30 a.m. Rotary members Mike Lacey and Bob Venne will be at the event dressed in costumes. Lacey will be jumping and Venne will be the event announcer, appearing in his polar bear costume.
For more information about the polar bear plunge and pledge sheets for fundraising, call Lacey 715-743-4799.