February 26, 2015

10th Annual Polar Plunge: Lake leaping for Special Olympics

Written by Richard Gould - Hickory Record
10th Annual Polar Plunge: Lake leaping for Special Olympics Robert C. Reed

This will be the 10th year that cold-hardy kind-hearted souls have spent the last weekend in February "Freezing for a Reason."

The Pi Kappa Phi Epsilon Rho Chapter participates in the Polar Plunge every year and is one of the biggest groups that participate.

They'll be converging on Lake Hickory this Saturday for the Polar Plunge. The money raised goes to Special Olympics North Carolina. It's the kind of cause that makes people willing to jump into what forecasters predict will be 40-degree water.

"The last year I jumped was the year they had to clear the ice off the lake," said Lisa Carroll.

Carroll has a personal connection to the event because her daughter, Sabrina Conley, 17, is a Special Olympics athlete. Her sports are cheerleading and swimming – her specialty is the 25-meter freestyle. This year Conley plans to take up tennis and become a three-sport athlete.
"(Sabrina) likes it because she gets to socialize with her friends from across the county," Carroll said. "It's a social program and it helps her stay physically active."

Conley became a Special Olympics athlete at 8 years old – just as soon as she was old enough to be eligible for the program. Her first sports were track and field. When she was 12 she started bowling. But cheerleading is her favorite.

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Last modified on February 26, 2015

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