by Karen Sherrell
HORSESHOE BEND – The sun was shining, it was 65 degrees, and 43 plungers were ready to make their splash in Crown Lake at Box Hound Marina.
Holding the Third Annual Polar Plunge in March rather than January proved to be warmer, if you stayed dry. The windy day added to the grimaces and shouts of plungers entering and exiting the water, as onlookers roared with laughter.
Individuals and teams took on the challenge and raised $3,567 for Special Olympics on Saturday, March 4. Jackie Kizer of Horseshoe Bend is an annual plunger, and she raised $254, the most for an individual, and she also received the Golden Plunger Award for the third time. Salem Wet Dawgs raised $2,000 for this year’s event, the most raised by a team, represented by 25 plungers. Team Calico Rock received the Best Costume Award, and raised $465 from the Elementary School and $100 from FCCLA.
The Care Center team from Mountain Home raised $250, and Southfork River Therapy and Living Center Team of Salem raised $465.
Box Hound Marina is the annual sponsor of the event held at the pavilion and beach. Officials with Special Olympics presented owner Laureen Sac with a 2017 Golden Plunger plaque in appreciation of Box Hound’s generosity.
With some smaller plungers wanting to the enter the water early, and other plungers literally walking on water for a few seconds, this year’s event proved to be as entertaining as ever.
But the best part will be the smiles on the faces of the participants in Special Olympic events made possible by all the plungers and their sponsors.
See additional photos in the March 15th edition of Pacesetting Times. Photo/K.Sherrell

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Box Hound Marina in Horseshoe Bend is hosting the 2016 Polar Plunge on behalf of Special Olympics Arkansas, SOAR.
The Polar Plunge will be held on Saturday, January 16 with registration beginning at 11 a.m. Awards start at noon and the plunge follows directly.
Sponsorships/contribution forms may be picked up at Box Hound Marina in Horseshoe Bend.
Those interested in taking the plunge need to pick up a sponsorship form for pledges.
Special awards will be given for best costume: individual and team; and first place for the most money raised: individual and team.
Incentive for $50 minimum collected per plunger is an official plunge t-shirt; $250 collected, plunger will receive a plunge t-shirt and beach towel; $500 collected will include plunge t-shirt, beach towel and high definition 3.0 wireless bluetooth speaker; $1,000+ collected donations entitles the plunger to a plunge t-shirt, beach towel, high definition 3.0 wireless bluetooth speaker and a packable waterproof jacket available in seven colors.
SOAR was incorporated as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization in 1974. Their mission is to provide year-round sports training and Olympic-type competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Arkansas. Currently, more than 15,000 athletes participate in training and compete in a year-round program of 20 different sports.
Athletes in Arkansas train and compete in aquatics, track and field, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, power-lifting and other sports at local, Regional, State and International levels. While their competition events are often in public view, it is their training program that forms the foundation of all that they do. Through the strong network of volunteer coaches, Special Olympic athletes spend countless hours preparing for the opportunity to compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze metals. In a sense, the athletes are training for life itself. Training becomes an important stepping stone into communities throughout Arkansas for athletes and their families. Their goal is to bring people with intellectual disabilities into the mainstream of society in Arkansas under conditions where they are accepted, respected and given the opportunity to become positive citizens.
So, plungers get your sponsorship/contribution form, get your sponsors and be ready to take the 2016 Polar Plunge at Box Hound Marina, Resort & RV Park on Crown Lake in Horseshoe Bend on Saturday, January 16.

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TAKING THE PLUNGE: Thirty-three participants from the tri-county area took a cold plunge into Crown Lake in Horseshoe Bend on Saturday, January 17. Plungers raised almost $5,000 for Special Olympics Arkansas. The Polar Plunge was sponsored in part by Box Hound Marina. See additional pictures and full story in January 28 edition of Pacesetting Times. Photo/B.Stapleton