Polar Plunge raises money for Lake Winola Rotary Club


Event raises money for Lake Winola Rotary Club

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal



Friends taking the plunge are, from left, Nikki Russo, her mother Deb Russo, both of Lake Winola; Erica Wilbur, of Lake Winola; and Nicole Monroe, of Laceyville.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Kevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Kevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge.


Ben Freda | For Abington Journal


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    LAKE WINOLA – Last year, the ‘plungers’ of Lake Winola didn’t have to worry about the water being so cold. Then, the weather was about 65 degrees. This year was a different story.

    “It was so cold!” Nicole Monroe said about the freezing water after jumping in with her friends during the 30-something-degree weather.

    The second annual Lake Winola Polar Plunge held Jan. 29 saw people from the community jumping off one of the lake’s piers, some dressed in costumes. A fee of $35 covered jumping and food and drink at the Lake Winola Boathouse Bar & Grill (across the street from the polar plunge). A fee of $20 covered food and drink. This event raised money for the Lake Winola Rotary Club to start a community fund to prepare for local families and friends in need.

    “If something happens, we will be ready to fund it,” said Rotary member Paul Davis, who took the plunge dressed as Aquaman. “We’re a young Rotary (club). We’ve been together for four years. We’re looking to make Lake Winola great again.”

    Last year, proceeds from this event benefited medical expenses for a local baby named Evie Dixon, who suffered with spina bifida.

    Davis mentioned the Lake Winola Rotary Club supported Lake Winola Little League, Mill City Elementary School and the Lake Winola Fire Department, who led the water safety aspect of the polar plunge.

    “We ensure the safety and traffic control at the request of Overfield Twp. (location of the polar plunge),” said Marty Bonifante, chief of Lake Winola Fire Company.

    About 200 people attended the plunge, many from as far away as Nanticoke and Shickshinny.

    “It’s a great time,” said Nanticoke resident Dave Vecerkauskas, who attended last yearwith his wife. “We had a wonderful time last year. This year, we’re looking to have more fun.”

    In a nearby tent, raffle baskets and T-shirts were sold to also raise funds. Local businesses that donated gift cards for raffle included DeLeo’s Bar N Grill in Dalton and Laceyville Thrift & Vintage. Keystone Konfections in Tunkhannock provided free cookies and donuts. Free hot dogs and chili were also provided under the tent.

    Lake Winola Boathouse Bar & Grill was a place to hang out and keep warm during the event. It provided complimentary chili, baked ziti, vegetable soup, and cheese and crackers for both plungers and non-plungers.

    “We supply all the food,” said Mike Thornton, manager of the restaurant. “We give people a warm place when it’s cold.”

    The Lake Winola Polar Plunge also had a King and Queen recognition. Plains resident Jared Wysocki, who came to the event for the first time, was crowned King for a belly flop he performed when taking the plunge.

    “My friends have been coming for years,” he said, explaining how he knew of the event.

    Paul Davis’ wife, Michele, was crowned Queen.

    The event was started by Dale Baumes, president of the Lake Winola Rotary Club who came up with this idea because he used to participate in polar plunges in the Poconos.

    “They stopped doing it (polar plunge) in the Poconos, so I thought why not start one here,” he said.

    Friends taking the plunge are, from left, Nikki Russo, her mother Deb Russo, both of Lake Winola; Erica Wilbur, of Lake Winola; and Nicole Monroe, of Laceyville.
    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_20170129_130410-2.jpgFriends taking the plunge are, from left, Nikki Russo, her mother Deb Russo, both of Lake Winola; Erica Wilbur, of Lake Winola; and Nicole Monroe, of Laceyville. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman.

    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_20170129_130250-2.jpg

    Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Kevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge.
    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_20170129_130742-2.jpgKevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge.

    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_20170129_141222-2.jpg

    Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman.

    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Plunge2.CMYK_.jpg

    Paul Davis, a member of the Lake Winola Rotary Club, leaps into the water dressed as Aquaman. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Kevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge.
    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Plunge3.CMYK_.jpgKevin Baumes, left, of Tunkhannock and Pete Evanoski, of Wilkes Barre, don pink wigs and playboy outfits for the polar plunge. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge.

    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Plunge4CMYK.jpg

    Jared Wysocki, left, of Plains and Michele Davis, of Lake Winola, wife of Rotary Club member Paul Davis, win King and Queen of the polar plunge. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

    Event raises money for Lake Winola Rotary Club

    By Ben Freda

    For Abington Journal

    Reach the Abington Journal at 570-587-1148 or by email at [email protected]

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