WSAZ Severe Weather Alert

Folks Plunge Into New Year For Charity

By: Ryan Bloomfield Email
By: Ryan Bloomfield Email

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The cold temperatures have definitely made people bundle up the last few days, but for a group in Portsmouth, Ohio, not even freezing temperatures kept them from shedding their clothes and taking a swim -- all for a good cause.

The 13th Annual Polar Plunge is a tradition that's had folks ringing in the New Year in way not even Jack Frost could handle.

More than 100 people showed up at the Ohio River boat ramp in Portsmouth, braving ice cold temperatures, and plunging their way into 2013 for charity.

Brett Sparks of Portsmouth says jumping in the river in January is cold, but all worth it in the end.

"It's something I've done every year and it has been a family tradition," Sparks said. "The old vets is what actually matters to this. So that's actually why we all get in here and do this."

People can get sponsors from neighbors or businesses to raise money for their favorite charity. Sam Simon of Portsmouth started the plunge years ago as a joke and it has turned into something he says means a lot.

"It truly makes me happy," Simon said. "The Polar Plunge is something people talk about and associate me with it. It's a lot of fun and for a good reason."

After the plunge, everyone went to the Block House Bar in Portsmouth to keep the fun going with food, drinks and to definitely warm up.


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