Tag: Special Olympics

Safety First at the Polar Plunge

January 1st might be National Polar Bear Swim Day, but Saturday, February 18, 2017 is the day to mark on your calendar. It is the one day of the year when you can watch perfectly reasonable human beings – attorneys, firefighters, high school students, engineers and retirees – purposely walk, jump, skip or even swish into frigidly cold water. For ten years this wild behavior has been going on. And all to benefit Special Olympics.


Whether the skies are sunny or the snow is blowing, folks will head out to Versailles State Park for the annual Polar Plunge next month. However, before any of the participants can enter the lake, local divers cut through 9” of solid ice to clear the plunge area.

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Between the preparation and the start of the event, emergency personnel check and recheck their gear while experienced divers drink plenty of water and relax.

Every dive demands pre-planning, training and focus. The water rescue team outfits each rescue truck with everything necessary for all kinds of emergencies including dark water, swift water and ice rescues.


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Gear like these lines and chain saws are tested frequently and maintained scrupulously to ensure the safety of the divers and the person – or animal – being rescued.

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Each diver is only one part of a large, cohesive team. Even getting dressed properly requires a group effort.


Testing gear, communicating with the team and being alert are three vital aspects of any dive.





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Clearing the Polar Plunge area of debris that can injure a participant, or impede a rescue is an ongoing process.





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The divers share a bond that is difficult to describe. Words like ‘family’, ‘brotherhood’, ‘tight’ cannot define the shared life and death experiences these men and women face regularly in and out of the water as part of the Team.

Everyone has a job to do – from hauling gear, drying lines and inspecting the dive site.

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Once in the frigid water, the team does another sweep before getting into position.

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Almost ready …


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Another successful, safe – and fun – Polar Plunge!

To learn about upcoming Polar Plunges in your area, please visit:


To learn more about Rescue Diving, please visit:


February Fun!

If you’re a warm-blooded mammal, you’ve had quite enough of this snow and mess and cold! Your kids have already climbed the walls and are now eyeing the neighbor’s snow covered trellis. Your spouse’s charm and wit have disintegrated into buffoonery and weirdness. You, however, remain patient and generous … and only a tad screechy.

It’s time for an escape!

Here are a few cheap (or even free) distractions to enjoy as a family, couple or solo act. Ignore the chill in the air and have some fun!



Year Round, But an Excellent February Destination!

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10AM – 5PM

Rees Harps, Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana

Free (Unless you order a harp, of course!)


Rees Harps, Inc. is not your typical commercial enterprise. For one thing, they make harps. Yup – those angelic instruments of gossamer and dreams. Professional harpists throughout the world play Rees Harps, and you can too when you visit the shop on Main Street. You can tour their 7000 square foot facility, talk with an instructor, or simply watch members of the Rees family create lovely instruments. During these blustery days, what a perfect way to transport yourself into the world of beauty.



February 2, 1PM

Earlham College, Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana


As the new year begins its second month, renew your resolutions by attending Success is a Journey at the Goddard Auditorium in Carpenter Hall.  Join Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Dominique Dawes as she shares insights and lessons in motivation and success.

Don’t let the gray skies of February drag you down – take a pretty drive to Earlham College and be revitalized and inspired. More effective than a cup of coffee and priceless, too!

For more information, visit  http://www.earlham.edu

February 11, 1pm – 2pm

Lawrenceburg Public Library, Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana
The Lawrenceburg Public Library District presents Freedom is My Home, a one-woman performance by Charlotte Battin. Assuming the role of a Quaker abolitionist, Ms. Battin shares stories of the Underground Railroad that will illustrate just how perilous the journey to freedom really was. From the dangers of escape to the meaning of  codes and symbols used along the way, this program is age-appropriate for anyone interested in learning more.



February 12, 9AM

Versailles State Park, Versailles, Ripley County, Indiana

$ Donations

FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON  benefits Indiana’s Special Olympics. This is a fantastic organization that provides hugs and awards and love and support for every winning participant. Fill a thermos with hot chocolate and grab your woolliest muffler as you watch perfectly normal folks dive into the icy  water at the Versailles State Park boat dock. It’s all for a good cause, so learn more by visiting:


February 19, 9AM – 4PM
Milan VFW, Milan, Ripley County, Indiana
Have you ever wondered about bees? Do you enjoy honey and flowers, veggies and all things green? Considering the too-white landscape outside your window, the only answer could be, “Absolutely! I LOVE that stuff!!!”
So come on down to the Milan VFW Hall and make a day of it! The Laughery Valley Fish and Game Club joins the Southeastern Indiana Beekeepers Association in presenting information about the benefits of bees for humans, the need to protect these important insects, and much more.
For those of you with green thumbs and pinkies and arms, vendors will be on site with handy gardening supplies as well as beekeeping tools.
Even if you have no interest in harvesting your own honeycomb, just the idea of buzzing bees and blooming flowers is a welcome change from grinding snowplows and falling snowflakes!



February 26, 10AM – 1PM

Greensburg Elementary, Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana


Celebrate good health and fight heart disease during this  Day of Dance! In addition to learning about Chi walking, martial arts, and Zumba; participants will have access to free  health screenings and massages. Children can play in the bouncy-house and families can enjoy dance demonstrations throughout the day.  The festivities will wrap up with a heart-friendly cooking demonstration by Indiana Downs’ very own Chef Greg.

Boogie the blahs of winter away during this Decatur County Memorial Hospital event. It’s free, exhilarating and something the kids can enjoy along with their parents. Being healthy never has to be routine – jump and dance and laugh, and maybe even the snow will be a little prettier, the cold a little more refreshing. It’s worth a try!

Head to the following website for more information:  http://www.dcmh.net/spiritofwomen