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Polar Plunge Benefit for Youth Education


There's something about taking a plunge into icy waters that attracts people of all ages. Is it the novelty? Is it the bragging rights? Is it the euphoria that happens after a plunge? For whatever the reason, the popularity of plunging is evident in the increase in Polar Plunge-type events across the nation.

On January 31st, 2015, (a.k.a. Super Bowl Saturday), Haywood Waterways Association and Lake Junaluska Assembly are hosting the “3rd Annual Polar Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek & Youth Education”. The Polar Plunge is a community event, bringing together public officials, schools, businesses, churches, and many others to support kids.

Eric Romaniszyn, Haywood Waterways’ Executive Director, said, “There was a good buzz in the community after the first two Polar Plunges. Folks are already stepping up to support this great cause for kids. Event sponsors so far include Gahagan, Black & Associates, Duke Energy, Town of Clyde, Balsam Spa, Wells Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Joeys Pancake House, and Mike Gillespie, DDS”.

Registration begins at 11:00 am at the Lake Junaluska beach near Waynesville; festivities start at 11:30 am. The cost is $25 or FREE by raising sponsorships; 100% of the proceeds benefit Haywood Waterways’ youth education programs. All plungers receive a FREE t-shirt and lunch. The depth of plunge is a personal choice - from a wade up to the ankles to a full immersion jump off the dock. Costumes are welcome. Prizes are awarded for best costumes and the top fundraisers in the individual, school team, and community team categories.

Haywood Waterways offers many educational opportunities but their Kids in the Creek program is rated as one of the most memorable experiences students have from middle school. Kids in the Creek is a hands-on learning experience that gets students in the Pigeon River learning about water. The program has reach over 11,000 students in its 17 year history, and it also helps teachers, “Kids in the Creek does more to increase students understanding of water and water quality than anything I could do in the classroom. It has been a valuable learning tool for many years and something the students and I look forward to every year.”

There are two ways to donate or register; online at or by submitting the registration and donation form, which can be obtained at and by contacting Haywood Waterways (828-476-4667, Walk-ins are also welcome. The organization is seeking event sponsors

Haywood Waterways is a nonprofit organization based in Haywood County, NC. Their mission is to improve surface water quality in the Pigeon River Watershed. They accomplish this through education and focusing attention on the watershed as a natural, economic and recreational resource valuable for everyone.


Eriz Romaniszyn
Haywood Waterways Association