Polar Plunge raises money for Alzheimer research. (Photo courtesy of Benjamin Stewart, 2017)

Photo at FOE in 2017 by Benjamin Stewart

Would you do it too?

Look out that window, at your snow-blanketed lawn, the icy patio furniture and your solidifying swimming pool. Now imagine diving in.

OK, that would be nuts, perhaps, but what if a bunch of others were doing it or a hundred friends and neighbors were cheering you on? What if this odd behavior benefitted a well-vetted charity that helps people with spinal cord injuries walk again? And for your pneumonia-risking behavior, you would receive one goody bag and three beers from Deep Ellum Brewery — that would seal the deal, no?

Even if you are not yet persuaded to participate in the actual plunging (we’ll keep working on you), there is no good reason to miss out on the annual Polar Bear Plunge at East Dallas’ Fraternal Order of Eagles, the event that involves 70-100 people swimming across the 50-meter FOE pool for charity.

It’s happening Saturday, Feb. 19, and the long forecast shows it could be in the 40s by then so nowhere near as brutal as last year.

Photo courtesy Stacey Salinas Roberts

FOE’s Stacey Salinas Roberts explains how it works.

“We line 10 people at a time up at the deep end, blow the horn and they swim to the shallow end. We call the lines ‘waves.’ All ages are welcomed to jump. We have a lot of father/son teams and father/daughter teams that jump together each year,” she says. “Usually people don’t stay in the pool. It’s considered an olympic-sized pool and I think it’s enough to make it from one side to the other.”

She says brave souls (father and son duo Anthony and Luke Kachiros, for example, she points out, will be jumping this year together for the first time) have already registered. Stacey expects a good turnout this year.

The erstwhile Hypnotic Donuts-sponsored plunge started 10 years ago as a charity fundraiser. Even after the doughnut shop dropped out as a sponsor, the FOE folks wanted to keep it going, so members Tyson and Bonny Bain resumed it and raised money for an Alzheimers Fund, Stacey explains. Stacey and her husband Lance took on the organizing this year and chose a charity called Dream2Walk which provides services to people with spinal cord injuries, a cause Stacey and Lance have been supporting for the past seven years.

The beneficiary provides MYOLYN bikes to patients, she explains. The MYOLYN bike uses functional electrical stimulation to exercise muscles so they don’t atrophy.

“Each bike cost about $7,000, and we would like to help provide one for a patient in need,” Stacey says.

The details:

Saturday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at Fraternity of the Eagles #3108, 8500 Arturo Drive, Dallas, Texas, 75228

$10 sign up fee, proceeds got to Dream2Walk

Participants receive a goodie bag that incldes three free beers from Deep Ellum Brewery.

Meanwhile join in on raffles and a 50/50 split the pot, silent auction, merch purchasing—hoodies and T-shirts on sale—and live music in the social hall.


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