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Dozens take part in Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day

PHIL CAMPBELL – Many people were more than ready to dive right in to the new year, and in Phil Campbell, several people took their “diving” quite literally.
Over 30 people showed up to Mon Dye Boat Landing on Tuesday for the third annual Phil Campbell Polar Plunge, which is a fundraising event sponsored by the citizens of Phil Campbell and the Phil Campbell Civitan Club.
Of those in attendance, 14 people took the plunge and dove into the freezing cold water to celebrate the new year.
Bruce Forman, president of the Phil Campbell Civitans, said attendance was lower than in recent years, but he had a feeling the chilly, rainy conditions on New Years Day played a role in that.
“People know it’s going to be cold, but at least if the sun is out it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be so bad,” Forman said.
“We still had a really good crowd though despite the weather. We had local folks who came out as well as some from Florence and Haleyville.
“And we even had our first council member to take the plunge – Lynn Landers participated this year, so we were glad to have some of the town’s leadership there to support the cause.”
Forman said the event is quickly becoming a tradition in the small town.
“I didn’t know if we would do the plunge this year for a few different reasons, but I started receiving several calls from people asking if we were going to do it,” Forman said. “After several people expressed interest, I decided we’d go ahead and have it.
“There isn’t anything like this that takes place here in the county, and it’s just a fun and different way to raise money for different projects. Everyone always seems to have a great time.”
The past two years, the Civitans have used the money made at the Polar Plunge to provide scholarships for seniors graduating from Phil Campbell High School, which is one of the community projects the club supports.
This year, however, Forman said the club would be using the funds for additional work on the Phil Campbell Memorial Park, which was a project the club took on last year.
“We have a few more things we’d like to accomplish at the park, such as putting in swings for both kids and adults, and we’d also like to acquire the property around the park so we can keep expanding it and making it better,” Forman said.
“The Memorial Park has become a special part of our own and a place where people can not only reflect on and remember the loved ones they lost but a place to gather together and see how the town is continuing to move forward.
“Because it is such a special part of the town now, we just want to make sure that it is a place everyone can enjoy and doing that takes continued work and upkeep.”