Tasha Carrico, a representative of the Upshur County Special Olympics, addresses Buckhannon City Council at its Jan. 5 meeting. / Photo by Katie Kuba

Polar Plunge 2023: Freezin’ for a Reason Upshur County Special Olympics fundraiser slated for Feb. 11

BUCKHANNON – The mayor of Buckhannon and anyone interested in supporting the Special Olympics in Upshur County and statewide will be ‘freezin’ for a reason’ come Feb. 11.

Tasha Carrico, a representative for the Special Olympics of Upshur County, attended the Jan. 5 Buckhannon City Council meeting specifically to ask Skinner to take the plunge – the 2023 Polar Plunge Freezin’ for a Reason, that is. The fundraiser is slated for Saturday, Feb. 11 at the boat ramp at the Buckhannon Riverwalk Park.

“In Upshur County, we have athletes who participate and practice year-round in 11 sports statewide,” Carrico said. “We have lots of volunteers and coaches that assist with practices, competitions and fundraising. It takes a village not only to keep our county functioning but [the Special Olympics functioning] at the state level as well. That’s why I want to tell you about one of our amazing fundraisers.”

The polar plunges throughout West Virginia support the athletic training and competitions of more than 4,400 Special Olympics athletes in the Mountain State. Buckhannon’s Polar Plunge gets underway at the Riverwalk boat ramp with registration at 12:30 p.m.; a costume contest at 1:30 p.m.; and the plunge at 2 p.m. with awards for fundraising and costumes to follow.

Every participant must raise at least $50 to plunge (participants receive a T-shirt); at the $200 level, plungers earn a tumbler and a T-shirt; $250 gets participants a fleece, a tumbler and a T-shirt; and anyone who raises $500 earns a gift certificate for dinner, plus a fleece, tumbler and T-shirt.

Carrico said fire chief J.B. Kimble and firefighter Glenn Davis have collaborated with Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Steve Wykoff to “cover every precautionary detail.”

“That brings me to the point of my visit: I would like to challenge you, Mayor Skinner, and any city employees to help show your support for me and my fellow athletes by taking the plunge that day,” Carrico said. “Are you in?”

“I’m in,” Skinner replied.

An After-Plunge Party will take place immediately after the plunge at the Buckhannon Opera House, 12 E. Main St. with free admission for plungers and a $10 per guest donation requested.            

Interested in taking the plunge for the Special Olympics of Upshur County and West Virginia? No pre-registration is required for in-person plungers, but more information about the event, how to participate, what you’ll need and a donation form for non-plungers may all be found here.   

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