MASON — With 30 degree temperatures and Ohio River wind adding to the chilliness, members of the Mason United Methodist Church gathered at the Mason Levee on Sunday to watch 15 people jump into the icy water for the Polar Bear Plunge.
But there is method to their madness, as the crowd who gathered for this event is doing so to raise money for “Connie’s Crew,” the church’s team for the Annual Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk in Athens, Ohio, named for church member Connie Gilland. This year’s plunge marked the fifth year of the event.
“They are just all great people,” Gilland said on those who are working for this cause.
Pastor Scott Knowlton, who was one of the jumpers who embraced the cold, said the group normally raises a couple thousand dollars for the cause, but more importantly they are trying to raise awareness about MS in the hopes for discovery of a cure.
“People usually don’t think about things like this unless you know someone personally affected,” Knowlton said on why the church is raising awareness. Knowlton said they’ve also had yard sales in the past to help with cause.
Other jumpers this year included Ralph Ross, Eric Hayes, Danny Yonker, Ryan Roush, Jason Ervin, Dave Barr, Jolisha Ervin, Medina Tucker, Andy Jones, Dawna Brumfield, Jeremiah Jones, Jace Ervin, Matthew Barr, and Johnny Davis.
Gilland also stated the MS Walk in Athens, Ohio, this year is on April 20 and there are plans to continue the Polar Bear Plunge next year. Those who wish to be involved with this cause can contact the church at 304-773-5211.