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Bill Long of Clifton Park, N.Y., and Karen Phillips of Charlottesville, Va., take part in Saturday's Turkey Plunge at Waterville Valley. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)

Waterville Valley plunge raises $5,000 for adaptive sports

WATERVILLE VALLEY — It was the first time, as far as anyone could remember, that anyone cut through the winter ice of Corcoran's Pond for swimming.

After a 6-inch-thick slab of about 20 square feet of ice was removed from the pond, more than a dozen eager volunteers took a dive for people with disabilities on Saturday in the first Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports Cold Turkey Plunge on Saturday.

Teams of family members and friends joined adaptive sports volunteers for the event.

Plungers needed to raise a minimum of $50 in pledges to take part. Every plunger received a long-sleeve "Plunge" shirt, an official adaptive sports "empowered" bracelet and a cold turkey sandwich. Prizes were awarded to individuals and teams raising the most donations and for the most creative costumes.

It was a challenging activity.

"The ice is refreezing every hour," said Mark Bellerose, chairman of the event, adding that the event raised more than $5,000 for adaptive sports.

Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through access and instruction in sports and recreation for life. The organization encourages freedom and self-reliance through experiential opportunities in a safe and supportive environment with its highly trained staff and volunteers.

According to Bellerose, the program uses athletic, often ski-related, activities to enrich the lives of everyone involved, according to Bellerose.

Many who took the plunge said to their surprise, the cold water wasn't so bad.

"It's very cold, but not as cold as you might think," said Bill Long of Clifton Park, N.Y. "I don't feel as cold as you might think."


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