Residents Take The Icy Plunge
Hundreds of spectators lined the beach of Cowans Gap State Park Sunday afternoon in spite of temperatures that were only anticipated to reach a high of 38 de- grees. However, those drastically icy conditions provided the perfect setting for Fulton and Franklin county residents to plunge into the lake’s waters for the much-anticipated and talked about Frozen Frenzy.
Organized by the founders of Path Valley Outreach, the second annual event saw more than 70 participants take to the waters as individual “plungers” and teams. Among the handful of teams representing the county was the Fulton Valley Divas led by team captain Dee Decker Johnston of Fulton Valley Ag Services. Johnston is responsible for organizing the Divas, which included teammates Bridget Mellott, Angie Lininger, Brittany Harris and Angee Wilhelm this year.
According to the 28-year-old Mellott of McConnellsburg, repeat participation in the Frozen Frenzy was a no-brainer as Path Valley Outreach (PVO) is a “great organization” that “does a lot of good for the community.”
PVO was founded seven years ago by a tight-knit group of friends, who pledged to help their fellow neighbors. PVO has done just that, serving up a hot meal Christmas Day for those who are down on their luck or without family, awarding $2,500 scholarships to three deserving Fannett- Metal seniors annually and keeping their eyes wide open for families in need.
In order to participate in Frozen Frenzy, individuals were required to pay $50 per-person entry fee. Teams of five were asked to pay a $200 registration fee. Prizes were awarded during the Frenzy to individuals and teams raising the most donations for the nonprofit charity. Fulton Valley Divas finished out the day with $1,453, the second largest amount raised by any team. The Log Hookers came out on top with a sizeable donation, and both teams were awarded prizes for their efforts.
Spectators were also asked to cast their vote for their favorite costumes, which ranged from the notorious beards and camouflage of Dumb Dynasty and onesie pajamas and baby bottles of Keller’s Ice Ice Babies to Rosie’s Despicable Dippers, who were decked out as yellow and purple minions representing the children’s animated flick “Despicable Me.” The costumes proved to be a highlight of the event as were the antics of those participating. From underwater handstands and synchronized submersion to a re-enactment of Target’s popular Joe Boxer Christmas commercial by team Jingle Balls, those on hand didn’t mind bearing the cold to take in the entertainment on the beach or support PVO’s worthy cause.
Meanwhile, Mellott noted she did change up her game plan slightly this year. Donning her hotpink pants and a pair of flip flops, Mellott entered the icy waters of Cowans Gap Lake thinking her choice of footwear would be appropriate. However, after standing outside in the bitter cold for over an hour, Mellott found her feet were already frozen before they hit the water’s edge.
“I didn’t make it out as far as last year but look out in 2015,” she said. “I’m not going to wear flip flops.”