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Chilly + Chili equals fun

The 4th annual Plunge for Gates County Special Olympics, scheduled for Saturday at Beaver Lake, gives participants an opportunity to brave the icy waters followed by warming up to a hot bowl of homemade chili. File Photo by Cal Bryant

The 4th annual Plunge for Gates County Special Olympics, scheduled for Saturday at Beaver Lake, gives participants an opportunity to brave the icy waters followed by warming up to a hot bowl of homemade chili. File Photo by Cal Bryant

EURE – In the mood for a chilled splash into the waters of Beaver Lake?

How ‘bout a piping hot bowl of lip-smacking homemade chili?

If either of those adventures sounds appealing, venture out to “The Beav” on Saturday (Jan. 31) for the 4th annual Plunge for Gates County Special Olympics.

The fun-packed event begins with registration from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Opening ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m., with the Plunge at 12:30 p.m.

Beaver Lake, home of Beaver Lake Ski Club, is located just north of the Thad Eure Bridge (US 13) at Winton. Look for the signs near Dave’s Place.

Registration is $35 for the plunge, which entitles the brave person to a piping hot bowl of chili, hot chocolate or a hot dog, as well as a T-shirt (along with the satisfaction of freezin’ for a reason!). Teams are welcome as well.  Teams with six members or less must raise $300; those with eight members or less are required to raise $400; and teams with 10 members or less, $500.

“Come take the plunge or come and support one of the teams and/or individuals taking the plunge,” said event coordinator Barbara Toti.

Teams pre-registered for the event include:

Bee Chillin’ (Gatesville Elementary School)

Cooper’s Cruella and Crew (TS Cooper Elementary School)

Panda Propaganda (Buckland Elementary School)

The Plungin’ Pilots (Gates County High School)

The Buoyant Barons (student team)

Corapeake Ruritans (civic group)

Stephen’s Lifesavers (church team)

Not up for the chilly plunge? The 4th annual Chili Challenge might be for you.  Participants are asked to bring 15 servings of their best chili recipe in a crockpot.  Chili chefs are entitled to a T-shirt, a chili sampler ticket and lots of acclaim.

“As shown in years past, the competition is fierce among those seeking to win the title of having the best chili,” Toti said. “But remember, the chefs will have plenty of cold and hungry plungers, as well as the bystanders, who can’t wait to try all the hot and delicious chili.”

Toti added that for those who choose not to enter the chili cook-off, but still feel the need to take part, the event can always use donations of cheese and sour cream.

Can’t make the plunge, but still want to help? Send a donation to one of the teams…every bit helps.

“Since the Gates County School community and the local community have stepped up with a giant step to help these special athletes, most of whom have come through the local schools here in our county, the program has grown even more,” Toti noted. “Since 1988, where at that time athletics was the only sport to now, there are 20 athletes who participate in basketball, bowling, volleyball, bocce, cheerleading, powerlifting, as well as athletics. There are 10 coaches and a host of parents and volunteers.”

She said the budget, which is made up of donated monies, goes to help offset the cost of travel, meals on the road, equipment and uniforms and some practice venues (bowling).  The athletes have been able to attend all local and state competitions, with most competitions over 90 miles away from the county.

If you need to donate on-line, visit http://tiny.cc/GatesCountyPolarPlunge. If your team is not listed up there yet, check with the school or group about donating.

Contact Toti at totibb@gatescountyschools.net or check GCHS Project Unify on Facebook for more details.

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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