News: Fundraising has never been so cool
Story by Lance Cpl. Martin Egnash
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Individuals and teams in Onslow County raised money for the Special Olympics Onslow County by participating in the annual Polar Plunge on Onslow Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jan. 7.
The Polar Plunge event takes place every year and features teams from all over Onslow County dressed in costume, and running into the ice cold water. This year’s frigidness was more bearable than previous years due to the unseasonal warm weather that day, but the screams and goose bumps were evidence that the Polar Plunge lives up to its name.
The plunge is organized each year as a way to raise at least $25 per person by collecting donations from pledges. The amount of money that groups needed was based on the number of participants.
This year the Polar Plunge generated more than $24,000 in donations, said Kathy E. Zerba, secretary for the air station commanding officer. The money goes to the Special Olympics Onslow County.
For the third year in a row, the Marine Corps Air Station New River team raised more money than any other team, generating almost $4,000.
“Everybody knows when the New River team shows up,” said Zerba. “We’re a big deal over there. We always dress up the most and raise a lot of money for them.”
Zerba says New River is also the loudest and most outrageous group every year as well.
The air station won second best costume with their “rock stars and roadies” theme, featuring Marines and family members dressed like members of the band Guns and Roses and all four of Josie and the Pussycats.
Other team’s themes included doctors, prisoners and ‘Where’s Waldo’ themes. This Polar Plunge was the biggest plunge in recent years, with more than 400 plungers.
“It keeps growing,” said Zerba. “Everybody has so much fun that they come back with all their friends the next year.”
Zerba said that the air station’s team is already planning next year’s plunge.
“The Polar Plunge is a fun way to give back to the community,” said Zerba. “Almost as soon as we stepped out of the water, we were looking forward to going back in next year.”
Marines interested in joining the air station’s team next year, or creating their own team can call Kathy Zerba at 910-449-6307.