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More than 50 take Polar Bear Plunge in Cave Spring's Rolater Lake

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CAVE SPRING — More than 50 people braved the frigid waters of the lake in Rolater Park on Wednesday afternoon for the second annual Polar Bear Plunge.

Cave Spring councilman-elect Mike Ragland said every penny of the $25 registration fee would be used for the restoration of the Vann Cherokee Cabin found downtown.

“No administrative costs, nothing,” Ragland said. “All of the food over at the Hearn Academy, they’ll take a small donation there, all of that was donated by the ladies of Cave Spring and the historical society, and that will also be added to it.”

Participants lined the pool, some in swimsuits, some in shorts and T-shirts, even one dressed as the first baby of the new year waiting for the signal to make the jump into the water. “I just had to do something original,” said Stan Watson, who showed up with a towel draped around him in the form of a diaper.

Thom Holt, a Rome businessman who lives in Cave Spring, said he wanted to make the plunge to help the community, which conducted the fundraiser that will benefit the Vann Cherokee Cabin restoration process.

Robert Bell of Cave Spring said he came back to make the plunge again this year because it was fun. “It’s not bad once you get over the initial shock. It gets the heart rate up,” Bell said.

Seth Wiggins, 11, from Calhoun hopped in with his uncle and younger cousins, Lilly and Myka Colston from Adairsville. Seth said the water was even colder than he was expecting it to be. None of the three kids stayed in the water for any longer than the short amount of time it took for their parents to fish them out.

Others actually swam a couple of laps back and forth across the pool, which is extremely cold even in the summer.

Last year 39 people participated in the inaugural plunge, and Wednesday 51 people were registered. “It’s really growing. I think next year we can double that,” Ragland said.