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Inaugural Polar Plunge a splashing success

Saturday morning, members of HYPE and the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce gathered at Pyne Road Park to take part in the inaugural HYPE Polar Plunge, which was put on in part to raise funds for the West Point Lake Coalition.

The event saw approximately 10 individuals take part, braving the 40-degree weather and 40-degree water for a good cause.

“This was a decision that was made in the fall as part of our Total Resource Campaign,” said Leslie Traylor, Director of Member Engagement with the LaGrange-Troup Chamber and liaison to HYPE. “As a Chamber, we also want to give back to the community, so this was a fundraiser for us to raise funds for the West Point Lake Coalition, and part of the proceeds today will help sponsor a solar buoy in the lake.”

HYPE is operated underneath the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce and is made up of young professionals living and working in Troup County who are intent on building personal relationships, as well as relationships with community and business leaders.

The reasoning for taking part in the event varied from participant to participant, but the underlying theme for all was a desire to join in on a new, unique community event.

“I’ve done some research on ice baths and how they help muscle recovery,” said participant Mario DiMarino, relationship banker with Synovus Bank. “I don’t have access to an ice bath myself in day-to-day life, so I thought this could be the next best thing for sore muscles.”
“I’m here to have fun and support a local cause,” said Ben Higgins, dentist with Childress Dental Center. “Any time that we can be plugged into the community with something that is cool and fun, I think is great.”

“This is something that has never been done before,” Traylor said. “We have access to this awesome lake, we have it in our backyard, so why not take advantage of the lake on a chilly day and do something fun and different? We’re grateful to all of our sponsors who have made this possible.”

The event also included a sponsored race, Dash for the Cash, which was sponsored by Results Property Management. Willing contestants had an opportunity to compete for a $250 prize, if they could brave the cold waters and swim from the dock to a buoy positioned approximately 15 yards away and back. Higgins won the race, beating out DiMarino by a nose.

Those participating in the event were Higgins, DiMarino, Jamie and Regina Ingram, Dale Jackson, Jason Dean, Jeff Bartel and Josh O’Neal.

In addition to Higgins winning the Dash for the Cash, O’Neal was awarded ‘Best Splash’ while the Ingram’s won ‘Best Costume.’