The apprentices and staff from the ABC Chesapeake Shores chapter joined thousands of volunteers at the 17th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 26, where they braved the near-freezing Chesapeake Bay water to show their support for the Special Olympics of Maryland (SOMD). 

The Polar Plunge is a day-long event, full of activities and entertainment, with groups of volunteers who jumped into the cold water. In addition to the actual Plunge, participants and spectators enjoyed live music, a kids' corner, a variety of vendors and crafters, carnival games, Plunge souvenirs, and more. The event also includes lottery drawings, live local radio stations, and even a spirited costume contest. 

“I only went in the water once, but some of the apprentices went in a couple of times. The water was 35-degrees, so your body automatically went numb after about 10 seconds in the water!” said ABC Chesapeake Shores Director of Education & Safety, Angelica Faulkner. 

The Polar Bear Plunge was a huge success, raising over 1.9 million dollars for SOMD which focuses on providing sports training and athletic competitions  to those with intellectual disabilities to help them develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate with friends, families and the community.

In the two years that the apprentices have been participating, they have been able to raise more than $400 dollars for SOMD. 

“We are definitely plunging again next year and hope to get more involvement!” said Faulkner.