The 18th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge, which was scheduled for January 25 at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis but was canceled due to unsafe weather conditions, is now rescheduled for March 8 at the same location. This annual event is the largest event to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Maryland.
An MSBA team of plungers, including MSBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) members and members of the MSBA Executive Committee, headed by MSBA President Michael J. Baxter, will honor its commitment to the Plunge and participate in the rescheduled event.
“We were all disappointed that the Plunge was cancelled,” says Michael Siri, a member of the MSBA Board of Governors and YLS member, “but we’re happy with the amount of donations we raised.”
At the start of February, the MSBA team had raised more than $13,000; the team raised more than $10,000 last year. The 2013 Plunge accumulated over $2 million for Special Olympics, and this year, organizers aspire to raise $2.5 million. (Note: Donations can still be made. To support Team MSBA, visit http://plunge2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1075839&team=5743227. )
High winds and three-to-four foot waves, coupled with freezing temperatures, created a large build up of snow and ice on the shore on January 25, according to a press release from the organizers. The Baltimore Sun reported a foot-long ice shelf had formed on the edge of the bay, and Jim Schmutz, the president of Special Olympics Maryland, told the newspaper, “As the tide had receded, there are effectively frozen boulders of sand on the beachfront. The Maryland Park Service came out and effectively shut the beach down for safety reasons.”
Seven thousand people had registered for the January plunge, and 10,000 spectators were anticipated, according to the Sun.
“Hopefully, the weather will be a little warmer,” Siri says of the rescheduled date. “But regardless of the temperature, our team will be out there. The actual plunge takes 30 seconds, but the camaraderie of the event makes it special.”
The MSBA team will participate in the 1:00 p.m. plunge on March 8; the new date will also feature a family plunge at 11:00 a.m., and plunges at noon and 2:00 p.m. Parking passes from the January event can be used on the March date.
“Given the anticipated balmy weather,” jokes Baxter, “I expect most of us will bring rafts and beach chairs.”