The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 3, 2008

They wallowed in cold<br>water and hot chocolate

LEWISBURG — It looked a lot like spring break in February as more than 150 people lined up at the edge of the snow-covered bank of the Susquehanna River, ready to take the plunge in nothing more than string bikinis, Speedos, and others in a lot less in strategically placed homemade creations.

Still others came donning costumes. A nun and priest and a group of shackled inmates were among the many who that captured the humor of the lively group. After a few minutes of anticipation, the group was given the red light to take the plunge by Bucknell’s Director of Community Service Poppy Goforth, on megaphone. Without hesitation, one by one the brave crowd made a dash for the murky, frigid February water, followed by a quick retreat to land.

To the hundreds of onlookers, it may have seemed like chaos and madness but each person who took the plunge, did so to support a good cause said Goforth. “We had about 157 people sign-up from the community and the university to jump in the cold water and we did it to raise money for the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership and the Lewisburg Ice Festival.”

Goforth estimated about $2,000 was raised from the event.

Many members from Bucknell’s Greek community signed-up to support the event. Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brother Andrew Watson, 20, of New Jersey, said jumping into the Susquehanna River in February was a first for him. “I’ve never experienced something like that,” he said. Fellow fraternity brother Ryan Keys, 20, of Lancaster, had similar remarks about the bone-chilling experience.

“It was pretty cold. My toes are about to fall off,” he said standing on the snowbank in sandals with his stocking feet exposed to the winter air. Michael Simmon, 19, of Boulder, Colorado, and Scott Schuler, 19, of Orchard Park, New York, also took the plunge. Schuler said it didn’t take long for him to feel the effects of the icy cold water. “At first it didn’t really seem that bad,” he said. “But then it hits you that you can’t feel your legs anymore.”

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