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December 30, 2012

Everything you need to know to take the Polar Plunge

Forget the media frenzy that has fed more talk about the federal government’s “fiscal cliff,” and take a plunge into the Atlantic Ocean to end this year.

Forget the media frenzy that has fed more talk about the federal government’s “fiscal cliff,” and take a plunge into the Atlantic Ocean to end this year.

The third annual “Ultimate Polar Bear Plunge for a Cure” will meet the surf at 2 p.m. Monday at Wyndham SeaWatch Plantation, just north of Myrtle Beach.

Lori Chilton, activities manager at the resort since summer, said this marks her first year coordinating the plunge, but that she inherited a good system in place for this New Year’s Eve tradition and the participants use their own discretion how far they run into the water, the temperature of which has cooled off to 50-some degrees F.

More than 100 plungers braved the waves last year, with 400 spectators on hand.

Question | What fun surfaces in planning this event, to make a big a splash as possible to help the American Cancer Society?

Answer | The last couple of years, it’s been organized so well, and we have notes to follow. We changed very little. It’s been so successful. ... Our main registration is on the day of the event. It is a lot of fun. I haven’t been to one, but I keep hearing how wonderful it is.

Q. | What’s new and improved in the product this year?

A. | We have three levels of donations, including a $10 “Little Dippers” level, with beanie caps for them.

Q. | Just what intensity do plungers invest into their tear into the water?

A. | Some are gung ho, and they go all the way into the water. Other ones just go on the edge. ... Last year, it was 67-70-degree type of weather, so we’re hoping it’s somewhat warm. We also offer complimentary tea, coffee and hot cocoa.

Q. | What safety tips and other reminders are given to participants?

A. | When they sign up, they’ll get tips on the best ways to do their dip and still be safe.

Q. | How wide is the beachfront for people to make their run?

A. | We have five buildings here, so it’s a pretty large area.

Q. | How big a difference and awareness making does such an event do from the ripples beyond these plunks in the water?

A. | Last year ... we raised over $10,000 from events throughout the year. ... For our next event, we’ll do “Have A Heart” for cookies in February, around Valentine’s Day. We’ll do the cupcake contest in the summer, and then for fall, the chili cook-off, and the polar bear plunge ... so it covers all four seasons.

Q. | How does publicity through media and word of mouth help spread the word about the plunge?

A. | A lot of the guests staying here with us come in, and we have guests who know about it, and they come back just for that event. They get really excited, and it’s a great cause.

Q. | What other ingredients and teamwork help make up the After Plunge Party?

A. | Krispy Kreme is bringing us some doughnuts. Ultimate California Pizza is bringing us pizza, and Chick-fil-A will be there. You can get a ticket ... and pick whatever items you want.

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