The annual Cave Spring Polar Plunge drew participants and spectators from around the community, nation and even world on New Year’s Day at Rolater Lake. The event raised funds for the Cave Spring Historical Society.
Rome resident Dawn Cortez was bold enough to take the plunge. It had been 32 years since her last Polar Plunge in her home state of Washington into the Puget Sound on a snowy day. She muses that since she had already handled the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean, she thought she would be able to take on the 57 degree water at Cave Spring’s Rolater Lake.
Cortez, however, has become acclimated to the often-warmer temperatures at this time of year in the southeastern US. Therefore, Wednesday’s jump was a bit of a shock to her system.
She attests that she’d do it again, though, as would the Kelly family of Rome. Jim and Holly Kelly made that jump along with their son and already plan to do it again next year.
Chris Carter of Rome was prompted by his friend from the state of Maine to participate in Cave Spring’s ’20 Polar Plunge. He says it was an invigorating experience.
A couple that recently moved to Rome was among those who headed down to Cave Spring to see the Polar Plunge. English-born and Australian-bred Steve Atkinson and California-native Pam Atkinson found out about this local New Year’s tradition shortly after their arrival in Floyd County and had to see it for themselves. Pam says that she may decide to take the plunge one day. When asked if he would do it, Steve says emphatically – NO!
Steve indicates that he and his wife have enjoyed exploring this corner of the world that includes Rome, Cave Spring and Floyd County.
The Atkinsons were also impressed that money raised from the Polar Plunge will benefit the preservation of Cave Spring’s rich history. All proceeds will go toward upkeep of historical buildings and the park, indicates Billy Wayne Abernathy, Vice President of the Cave Spring Historical Society.
Those who paid the $25 registration fee were treated to a special New Year’s Day lunch at Hearn Academy upon the conclusion of the plunge, along with an event t-shirt. An estimated 60 people registered to participate this year, says Abernathy.