Taking the Plunge

Y M C A block, Costume by Allison Huyett


   And the winner of the 2010 YMCA Marsh Madness Fairy Tales Award is – drumroll, please – yours truly, creator of  The Heron Report and now, a trophy-winning costume! I’m so excited. A new title is just what I want!

   The group of swimmers, divers and bathers who met at Blue Marsh Lake for the fourth annual Reading Berks polar bear plunge raised about $9,000  to help kids go to camp this summer. The Y hopes to send 190 children and is well underway to reach the goal of $25,000.

   What was the water temperature? This morning it was a balmy 38 degrees! The plungers had instructions to venture only to the orange line marked with orange floats. About six scuba divers stood in the water beyond that limit. The scuba divers wore red neoprene? suits.

    Prior to the plunge, there was a small tent set up outside the rescue truck, where hot water and hot chocolate mix was available. The diesel truck was running and it was a blast! o’ hot air to warm those of us that were bare-legged and wearing swimsuits.

  It was a lady named Nancy’s birthday; her first polar bear plunge. Nancy’s daughter dipped too. Nancy’s grandchildren observed the spectacle as if the adult-child roles were flipped.

    A group of members from Tamaqua  dressed in burlap sacks with a green shamrocks and the writing: Irish Potato. Two teens received trophies for their coconut top bikinis and grass skirts. A brave-hearted fellow received kudos for wearing just a Speedo, ma’am.

   The best prepared costume was an Avatar figure: shades of blue paint, with jeans and a horn or shell necklace. The colors did not run, did he get all the way wet?  Couple of fellows at lunch declared they were still trying to get warm again. They were among those who dunked their heads under the water. Why would they risk catching cold?

   “Because I said I would,” said one. “You have to go all the way.”


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