BOONVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Wind chill factors in the upper single digits to lower teens did not stop some Tri-State students from participating in Polar Plunge 2023 at Scales Lake in Boonville. The event, benefitting Special Olympics Indiana, featured high school students from Vincennes Lincoln, Mt. Vernon, North Posey, Tecumseh and Boonville.

Plunging for a good cause, the students raised more than $8,000 for Special Olympics Indiana, but both nerves and excitement were evident.

“They’re pretty excited but we pulled in, I was driving the bus, we pulled in and they saw the water and it got pretty quiet,” says Boonville High School Assistant Athletic Director Mike Chapman.

Noah Ricketts, a junior at Tecumseh High School, had a similar reaction upon arriving at Scales Lake.

“When I got off the bus and felt the cold air, I thought this is not going to be fun,” says Ricketts.

Mt. Vernon High School student Hannah Seifert took the plunge for a fourth time. She says helping a good cause like Special Olympics keeps her coming back each year. Seifert admits she was not expecting temperatures to be quite as cold as they were for this year’s Polar Plunge.

“Once you hit the water, it’s not like panic, you know that it’s going and it’s go time, and adrenaline is just going,” explains Seifert. “So you get in there and it’s not that bad and you just go back.”

Chapman says he is proud of his students’ involvement in events such as Polar Plunge, adding they often treat themselves and one another with respect.

“We’re a champions together school with Special Olympics, so our kids are really active in inclusion,” says Chapman. “So this is our athletic council we bring out here to raise money and they come out here and do this.”

Officials with Special Olympics Indiana expect an additional $30,000 to be raised during day two of the Boonville Polar Plunge.