AshevilleHendersonvilleNews Stories

6th Annual Polar Bear Plunge for Meals on Wheels


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Rescheduled for Saturday Feb. 22

The Asheville Racquet Club (ARC) will host the 6th Annual Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Meals On Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County on Saturday, February 22, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Located off Hendersonville Rd. at 200 Racquet Club Road in South Asheville, the ARC will open their outdoor swimming pool – complete with diving board, and clubhouse for this year’s polar plunge and lunch.

The annual Polar Bear Plunge is a family-friendly event with an expected attendance of 150-200 people cheering on around 30 polar bears dressed in outrageous costumes as they execute less-than-olympic style dives, belly flops and cannonballs from the diving board.  The costumes are pretty outrageous and may include Superman, Flying Grapes, Diving Bananas, Football Fans, Cowboys & horses, Bumble Bees and even a hillbilly! Each year brings a new round of creative costumes as people celebrate their outrageous Nordic side! It also brings out well-known local celebrity plungers who have made the plunge for several years including Commissioner David Gantt and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan.

The annual fundraiser, now in its sixth year, was originally the brainchild of Barbie Hunter, ARC staff member who wanted to host an event to benefit seniors here in Buncombe County.  “We started in 2009 with just a handful of staff and club members who were willing to raise money and take the plunge.  It’s so much fun and each year it just keeps getting bigger and better!”  To date, the Polar Bear Plunge has raised nearly $75,000 to benefit Meals On Wheels.

Each polar bear does online fundraising by setting up a webpage and collecting sponsorships contributed by friends, family and coworkers as they vie for the title of “Top Polar Bear”.  The Polar Bear Plunge is open to anyone (age 13-16 only with parental consent) willing to raise at least $150 (the cost of 1-month’s worth of meals for the elderly) and brave the icy water of the club’s outdoor swimming pool.  A post-jump hot soup lunch will be hosted by EarthFare Markets and served in the ARC clubhouse at a cost of $7.00 per person.  The public is invited to attend.

For more information, please contact the Asheville Racquet & Fitness Club at (828) 274-3361 or Meals On Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County at (828)253-5286.  You can sponsor your favorite jumper by visiting and follow the links to their Polar Bear page.

Meals On Wheels of Asheville-Buncombe County currently serves nearly 500 homebound seniors a hot nutritious lunch 5 days a week.  In addition to weekday meal delivery, Meals On Wheels offers a variety of helpful programs and services designed to allow seniors to remain in their own homes, among familiar surroundings and age with dignity.  For more information, please contact Terri Bowman, Development Director at (828) 253-5286.

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