Badin Hall Polar Bear Plunge raises money for Hope Initiative
Alexandra Muck | Friday, February 10, 2017
Badin Hall’s annual Polar Bear Plunge, in which students jump into St. Joseph’s Lake for charity, will be held Saturday from 2 – 4 p.m. The cost of participating is $5, and the proceeds from the event benefit the Hope Initiative, which seeks to serve women and orphans in Nepal.
Last year, the event drew 300 people, but junior Kelly Heiniger and sophomore Kathleen Ryan, the organizers for the event, said they are hoping to draw at least as many this year. Given the warmer weather earlier in the week, Heiniger and Ryan said the water should be warmer than normal, which they hope will draw more participants.
Ryan said her favorite part of organizing the event is seeing how much fun everyone has while participating.
“I just love seeing people run in and see how cold it is,” she said.
Students can stop in anytime during the event to complete their plunge, as it will run in shifts. Those who did not preregister at South Dining Hall on Wednesday or Thursday can still preregister online at Notre Dame Student Shop under Badin Hall. Students who prefer to register at the event should bring $5 in cash. Preregistering allows students to avoid the line before completing their plunge.
Towels will be available throughout the two hours for those who complete the plunge, and hot chocolate and music will be around the lake, as well. Pictures from the event will be available on the event’s Facebook page for those who are unable to attend or want to find pictures of themselves at the event.
Heiniger said people participate in the event primarily for bragging rights and to support charity.
“I think the concept of doing a plunge is a pretty well-known idea. … It’s neat to have one that benefits a local charity, and it’s also a pretty established event,” Heiniger said.
Before Ryan participated in the Polar Bear Plunge last year, she had always wanted to try a plunge.
“I had heard about people doing plunges and I had never been able to do a plunge before — there just wasn’t one in the area,” she said. “It was so cool, not only knowing there was a plunge I could do, but that it’s only students. It’s a very Notre Dame community feel.”
A committee of eight to 10 Badin residents who serve on the dorm’s Hope Commission helped Heiniger and Ryan plan the event. The commission is also responsible for planning Conscious Christmas in the fall semester, which benefits the Hope Initiative as well. The dorm became involved with the Initiative through Ann-Marie Conrado is a teaching professor and Badin Hall fellow, as well as a co-founder of the Initiative.