PORTSMOUTH, OHIO (WOWK) — Lots of folks are settling into the first day of the new year with hopes that it will be better than 2020.
One group in Portsmouth, Ohio, however, is plunging into 2021 in a very different way:
By diving into the Ohio River.
“First off if you think it’s too cold, maybe you’re too old! But we want to be freezin’ for a reason, gettin’ wet for a rest-home vet. We’re not just a bunch of crazy people, we’re a bunch of crazy people doing some fun and good things.”Sam Simon, organizer of the polar plunge
The day started with the plungers gathering at the American Legion Post 23 in anticipation.
“I think I’m just gonna run and jump in!”Simon Hammer, polar plunger
Then, the group headed over to the Ohio River to make their big splash.
This is the 21st year Sam Simon has been putting together this polar plunge, and now he’s turning it over to the American Legion.
They give all proceeds to different charities each year, and this year it’s for a cause close to this Post’s heart:
“The one that’s fondest to my heart is the Jim Saddler Memorial Award; that man went above and beyond the call of duty for our rest-home vets and our local veterans, so we like to try to give to that.”Sam Simon, organizer of the polar plunge
Spirits were high, and embraces were warm, even if everything else was freezing.
“It felt really cold! I can’t feel my feet!”Simon Hammer, polar plunger
If one thing’s for sure about this frigid tradition, it’s this:
“Through the rain, the snow, ice, nothing will stop us. High water, low water, we’re going.”Sam Simon, organizer of the polar plunge