With temperatures only in the teens around 11 a.m. Saturday morning around 20 people scampered into a hole cut into the surface of The Great Sacandaga Lake in Mayfield.
“It was really cold,” said Mayfield resident Stephen Kannar, as he stood next to a fireplace inside Wally’s, trying to get warm. “Part of my beard froze.”
Coming out of the water, Kannar said he got a bit of a burning sensation. It’s the kind you get when you’re a little kid that spends hours playing in the snow, and then gets wet before going inside to warm up.
The polar plunge event at Wally’s Driftwood Park was part of a fundraiser for the Southern Adirondack Snowmobile Club. Kannar, who went in wearing only his briefs, said Wally’s is a big sponsor of the club.
As far as taking the dastardly dip, he advised, “mentally, you just do it.”
Kannar said he took a plunge for the Special Olympics last year, and decided to do it again to help the club.
“It’s like a family,” he said.
He did take a few steps to physically prepare though. This morning he got up and took a hot shower. But, before getting out, he switched to freezing cold water “to shock my body,” he said.
His buddy Cody VanPatten also took the plunge – that is – after he went out at 8:30 a.m. to cut down through five inches of ice when it was roughly 4 or 5 degrees in order to create the chilling experience.
VanPatten also said the water was freezing.
He had thought because it was so bad outside the water would be alright.
“Not,” he said.
Although Regina Green isn’t part of the snowmobile club, her family is part of the group that consists of around 20 or so members. She said she wanted to help out.
That, and “I’m a little crazy,” she said.
Green had never done a plunge before but was excited she did it, and said she would do it again in the future.
During the plunge, Mayfield emergency services personnel were on standby along the shore.
“We look for any kind of hypothermia,” Mayfield Fire Chief Phlan Hart said.
They search for signs of shaking or convulsions, he said.
He said there were no incidents at the event.
According to Kannar, the money raised by the event helps the snowmobile club keep the trails clean and up to date.
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