Polar Bear Plunge features freezing water and crazy energy

Ashlyn Miller-Sanders ran into a freezing with her family to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon


Ashlyn Miller-Sanders, junior, and her cousin, Alec Tompkins, freshman, attended Polar Bear Plunge on Feb. 2. Everyone in their families wore brightly colored tutus to spread awareness. Together they raised $1,040 for Special Olympics Oregon.

One sunny day on Feb. 28, thousands gathered on Broughton Beach along the Columbia River to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon by charging into an icy river. Ashlyn Miller-Sanders, junior, and her cousin Alec Tompkins, freshman, and their families were among them  and they raised $1,040 for the cause.

“Despite the freezing weather and chilling waters, the energy was crazy, happy and exciting,” Miller-Sanders, said.

Polar Bear Plunge was created by Special Olympics Oregon to raise money for their athletes. This year the event raised the $233,212.

In order to participate in the plunge, participants must at least raise $50. Once they met the $50 goal, the participants ran into the freezing waters of the Columbia River along with thousands of other people to complete the challenge.

Miller-Sanders is planning on starting a Polar Bear Plunge Club to involve students. The club will focus rallying as many students and teachers as possible to create a plunging team.

“My hope is that the plunging team will not just be a high school thing, but will spread through West Linn, involving the community,” Miller-Sanders said.

Associated Student Body needs to approve the plan to create the club. It will meet most likely during lunch, but a day of the week has not yet been chosen. More information about the club will be released after the club’s application has been approved.