Wizards Plunge Like Polar Bears

Posted by DC Water Wizards on Apr 04 2022 at 04:50AM PDT

Wizards Plunge Like Polar Bears
By Lucinda Fleeson

How many Water Wizards does it take to plunge into 40-degree water of the Chesapeake Bay for a good cause?

The answer: Eight wizards braved a chilly day and chillier water to plunge (even if only for a few seconds) on Saturday, March 26 as part of the hundreds who dipped into the Bay and raised funds to support the Maryland Special Olympics.

For years I had been intrigued with the annual Polar Plunge at Sandy Point State Park in the shadow of the Bay Bridge – and thought it would be fun. What could be better than doing it as a post-pandemic celebration with my Wizard teammates?

Enlisting seven more plunging Wizards was an easy sell. We tried to convince other teammates to join, but their answers were quick and resounding NOs!

Those who plunged were: Karyn Baironous, Gabrielle Doyle, Kathy Labukas, Sally Stoecker, David Colbert, Jean-Francois Wen and your humble captain, Lucinda Fleeson. Our motto: We didn’t get this old because we’re sissies!

Team conclusions? “A blast!” “Unforgettable experience!”

Our photo/video documentarian and WW co-chairman Mary Kaniewski came along to support us. Her video presents irrefutable evidence that the Wizards set new speed records for getting in and out of the water.

Several more Wizards joined in the spirit by donating funds, including Larry Thurston, Marvin Blount and Ruth Eisenberg, donations which helped to more than double our modest fundraising goal of $750, to $1666.

One of our summer Wizards, Kathy Labukas, soared to the top of our fundraising team, raising $795 by herself from friends and supporters. Kathy was a longtime special ed teacher and school principal, and current President of the Board for CALMRA, Inc. a nonprofit that provides residential services for adults with developmental disabilities. Kathy also provided awesome support by driving to Baltimore to Plunge headquarters to collect our Plunge Packets, saving us from waiting in line at Sandy Point. In another act of wizardry, she secured two parking passes for our car pool cars.

After the Plunge, we adjourned to Red, Hot and Blues on Route 50 for barbecue, a convivial meal that lasted approximately 100 times longer than our actual immersion in water – but who cares?

In total, more than 400 plunging teams raised a collective total of $875,159.


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