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‘Polar bears’ take icy plunge to raise funds for Athens nonprofit’s need for a van

Updated: 4 days ago

Dozens of brave souls last weekend froze their butts off for a good cause.

They took an icy swim at Sandy Creek Park as part of the Athens Rotary Club's Plungefest 2024, Freezin' for a Reason!

Through sponsorships, polar bears citizens helped the club to surpass its fundraising goal of $32,000 for Lydia's Place, a local nonprofit that serves young adults age 17-24 who have experienced foster care or homelessness in the Athens and Oconee area.

Rotary Club President Kalki Yalamanchili said that this year's Plungefest raised over $34,000 that will be used by Lydia's Place to purchase a van to transport students in the organization's Elevate Program to group meetings, therapy, medical appointments, college visits, and enrichment activities.

The Elevate Program provides affordable housing and resources for students who are working towards education, employment, and independent living.

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