Tift County non-profit organizations take part in Polar Bear Plunge

Courtesy: Tift Area YMCA

(TIFTON, GA)- For Tift-Area YMCA Interim CEO, Jason Bischoff, the 10th annual Polar Bear Plunge has a little more meaning to it than in year’s passed.

This is the first year non-profit groups came together to take part without the event’s founder, Rick Hawkins who passed away in 2019.

Bischoff said, ”Rick put everything together for this, he always made sure that organizations were involved in this. He was the one who really pushed this event, and he was very instrumental in doing this, so this is really always going to be his event. And he was always the one behind it, doing it with the YMCA.”

Whether it was their first time taking a freezing dip, or they’ve been doing the Polar Bear Plunge since the beginning, there’s a lot of good that comes from the plunge.

“We raised over 14 thousand dollars this year to give back to the community. To give back to groups that stay local and to help out organizations in the community, and make a difference,” says Bischoff.

Andrew Marzen with the Tift County Fundation for Educational Excellence tells us, ”I absolutely wanted to do it, so it’s a great way to raise money for the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence.”

While Heather Johnson, who took the plunge for the first time on behalf of the Tift County Soup Kitchen says, “It’s a great opportunity to show the community the different organizations and that everyone can donate, and help out, and show how the community does give help when it’s needed.”

This year’s winner, Dr Brett Wagonhorst of Tift County Meals on Wheels raised over $5,000