By Magen McCrarey
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
John Louthan, 33, of London was one of approximately 90 people last weekend who were "freezin' for a reason" at Lake Cumberland's Lee's Ford Marina. These brave "polar bears" raised more than $21,000 for Special Olympics Kentucky during the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 23.
"It was pretty unbelievable. I've never had my breath taken away like that before," Louthan said.
It was his first time plunging into the shallows of Lake Cumberland in February for the Special Olympics.
Louthan raised $110 individually. He was a member of the Somerset Community College team, who together brought in $635.
"Our physical therapist assistant (PTA) program likes to be involved in the community," he said. "We were all talking about it and I thought I'd go ahead and just do it," he said. "I'm not a big fan of the cold, but it's a great thing for the Special Olympics."
In addition to Lake Cumberland's plunge, five more plunges are being held across Kentucky in 2013. Their locations include Bellevue, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro and western Kentucky. In 2012, Polar Plunges set a record with a total of 3,141 participants, who raised more than $725,000. In 14 years, the Polar Plunge events have raised more than $5 million in support of Special Olympics athletes.
For more information about Special Olympics Kentucky visit www.soky.org.