Polar Bear Plunge

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Polar Bear PlungeWhile many slept off the after-effects of New Year’s Eve, some brave souls began 2016 with a splash – right into the Allegheny River. The snow flurries and high winds did not deter those participating in the first Snyder Polar Plunge. Even the official canceling of the 17th Annual Dianna Ashbaugh Memorial Polar Bear Plunge, due to unsafe river conditions, did not discourage the majority of our team.

Since 2000, every New Year’s Day, folks have rallied to take the plunge in the Allegheny River, at the Kittanning Riverfront boat launch. The event is named in honor of Todd Ashbaugh’s mother, who died from cancer. Todd and Ed Bower have organized the event for the past 16 years. The plunge has raised more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society. The first year there were 19 participants, which had grown to over 100 in 2015.

After the cancellation, our team decided to move and independently plunge at the Allegheny River Tarrtown cove. At 8 AM, after a few moments of psyching each other up, we ran to the water’s edge and plunged into the Allegheny River, flanked by the Charlie H tug boat.

Many of us have been touched by cancer, either personally or through a friend or family member. In a few moments of discomfort, our team raised over $900 for prevention, early detection and treatment of this terrible disease. A sincere thanks to all those who participated in the event! We hope to add to our team next year.

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