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Dunleavy's Pub Polar Plunge

When: Sun., Jan. 1, 1 p.m. 2012

“If it ain’t fun, it’s not worth doin,” is Special Olympics S.C.’s Paula Byers’ mantra. With this attitude in mind, she, as well as hundreds of others, will take the dive into frigid ocean waters on New Year’s Day at Dunleavy’s Polar Bear Plunge. Byers, who transforms into her alter ego “Precious P the Polar Bear” when preparing to plunge, speaks passionately about the event, which will benefit the 2012 Special Olympic Mid-Winter Games at the Citadel this March. “Many people have never known someone with an intellectual disability,” she says, adding that events like these present an accepting atmosphere to erase and embrace expectations. Participants, whether they’re prepared to plunge into the cold water or remain dry on shore, will gather at Dunleavy’s at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Many will outfit themselves in outlandish costumes before they begin marching toward the breakers around 1 p.m. A bucket brigade made up of Special Olympic athletes, family members, and volunteers will be in attendance to collect donations, trying to top the $50,000 they raised at last year’s event. According to Precious P the Polar Bear, “It’s fun, it helps a good cause, and it’s a cool reason for people with warm hearts to come out and take the plunge.”

Ryan Overhiser

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