Originally, the Polar Plunge began at the LSU Lakes back in 2005, with only about two people showing up to jump into the water. Eventually, though, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office decided to get involved and bring it to Ascension Parish.
At a freezing sixty degrees Fahrenheit, the water wasn't too polar for teams to jump into.
On February 16, what is otherwise typically a deserted waterhole next to Cabela's in Gonzales, becomes a busy, fun, occupied waterhole. For over ten years now, the fundraiser as been one of the biggest throughout the year.
To kick off the Polar Plunge event, Academy of Martial Arts in Prairieville did a demonstration for guests.
Master John Griffin of AMA said, "It takes thirty-six months to attain a black belt. We have a mix of white, yellow, orange, and black belts here today. We'll start off with group performances, and end with black belt performances. The last performance is done by black belts. We use martial arts to help build the future of our community leaders."
After the presentation, some games were set up for guests to enjoy, especially the younger kids. Meanwhile, teams were preparing to take their plunge into the not-so-polar waters.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office was able to raise over $8,000 dollars. The Crew of Ready Reserve Force (RRF) raised over $6,000 dollars. Another team, Lydia's Shining Stars, was able to raise over $2,000 dollars.
Paige Fremen, a participant in Lydia's Shining Stars, said, "I met Lydia through the Best Buddies program at LSU. The Special Olympics means something to her, so I support her any way that I can. We're all connected to Lydia in some way though. Even her brother is jumping in the water, too."
Another team member, Tiffany Wheat, with the King Cake Baby team, said, "We're here supporting Amy Scanlon. Amy has done this for five years now. I met her through church organizations. My sister, Jennifer, and I both met her that way."
"This is my fifth year doing this, and I really like it, it's a great time. It feels amazing and I love to help raise money for it," Amy Scanlon said.
Originally, the Polar Plunge began at the LSU Lakes back in 2005, with only about two people showing up to jump into the water. Eventually, though, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office decided to get involved and bring it to Ascension Parish. Now, hundreds of people come out to participate.
Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.