UNION TOWNSHIP — Temperatures in the teens didn’t stop three brave people from going into some icy waters in Luzerne County for a cause.
Sam Schaffer of Shickshinny warmed up by the bonfire before the chill of a lifetime. He’s jumping into Shickshinny Lake in Union Township for a polar plunge on a day when temperatures are well below freezing.
“It’s definitely a little bit colder than usual, but this will be our seventh year in a row, and we can’t let the elements stop us this time,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer and a few of his friends took a final look, all bundled up, before taking the plunge. For most people, the plunge part was canceled because it was just too cold, though seasoned professionals like Schaffer and his friends were allowed in.
And they did it without hesitation.
“It really is kind of shocking, but it’s all about your mindset. You just got to be in the right place at the right time and just get out of the water as soon as you can,” Schaffer said.
“Actually better than other years! The contrast wasn’t as bad going in from very cold to just very cold water again,” said Charlie Margelewitz of Stillwater.
Volunteers have raised thousands of dollars in the past.
“The two causes for this year are Give Kids The World, which is a place for kids with life-threatening diseases in Florida. The Town Hill Youth will be traveling there to support as volunteers this summer. The other piece is the Huntington Mills Fire Company,” said Glenn Schaffer of Shickshinny.
To keep warm, people handed out food and hot chocolate. They also huddled together around the fire. But for Sam Schaffer, what keeps him going back in is the children he is raising money to help.
“Some people don’t have a choice. They have to be in the life set that they are, so for us to take a little sacrifice into some cold water isn’t too much of a big deal.”