It’s not that Baker wants to go swimming in the middle of winter. He’s doing it because it will benefit Venecia Benefield Butler’s Venecia’s Foundation.
Baker came up with the idea for the Piedmont Polar Plunge a few weeks ago after he’d been thinking about it for several months.
“Over the years, I’ve seen on the news people jump into Lake Michigan and other lakes,” he said. “I thought that was kind of neat and thought we could do the same thing here in Piedmont. It’s a way to have some fun, bring some good publicity to our town and do something crazy for a good cause.”
Butler, who has gone through four bouts of cancer, said she was excited and surprised when Baker proposed the idea to her.
“I’m very thankful that he wants to support Venecia’s Foundation,” she said. “I think it will be a lot of fun. I’ve always been known for some crazy shenanigans, so this is right down my alley.”
Butler reminds everyone that the Solid Rock will be selling hot chocolate and coffee and possibly cinnamon rolls.
She said the money raised will help buy portable DVD players and headphones for the chemo chairs in this area.
“We appreciate everyone who supports Venecia’s Foundation,” she said. “And I’m very thankful that Mayor Baker wants to support the foundation.”
There is a $10 registration charge. To pre-register, go to the city administration building in Piedmont anytime before the day of the event. Participants can also register the day of the plunge if they get to the pool prior to 10 a.m.
There will be t-shirts for sale at the plunge. Pre-registrants have the option of choosing the size of their shirts. For those who register on the day of the event, shirts will be available on a first come first serve basis. Children must also be pre-registered to order a shirt.
“If someone would like to come and not take the plunge but make a donation for a good cause, that would be wonderful,” said Baker. “We’re really encouraging everyone to come out. We’d love to have a big crowd. It’s for a good cause, and we’re hoping to make a lot of money for Venecia’s Foundation.”
Baker said there’ll be a bonfire and heated changing rooms so that participants can change back into their street clothes.
“We’re going to make it very accommodating,” he said. “We want everyone to know that it’s not just for Piedmont residents. Anyone can take a dip for a $10 donation.”
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