10th Annual Polar Plunge: Lake leaping for Special Olympics

Robert C. Reed

The Pi Kappa Phi Epsilon Rho Chapter participates in the Polar Plunge every year and is one of the biggest groups that participate.

They’ll be converging on Lake Hickory this Saturday for the Polar Plunge. The money raised goes to Special Olympics North Carolina. It’s the kind of cause that makes people willing to jump into what forecasters predict will be 40-degree water.

“The last year I jumped was the year they had to clear the ice off the lake,” said Lisa Carroll.

Carroll has a personal connection to the event because her daughter, Sabrina Conley, 17, is a Special Olympics athlete. Her sports are cheerleading and swimming Ð her specialty is the 25-meter freestyle. This year Conley plans to take up tennis and become a three-sport athlete.
“(Sabrina) likes it because she gets to socialize with her friends from across the county,” Carroll said. “It’s a social program and it helps her stay physically active.”

Conley became a Special Olympics athlete at 8 years old Ð just as soon as she was old enough to be eligible for the program. Her first sports were track and field. When she was 12 she started bowling. But cheerleading is her favorite.

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