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Residents plunge into community activities

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published February 12, 2015

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SYLVAN LAKE — Sylvan Lake residents will start their morning by jumping in the icy lake and end their day with a warm bowl of chili Feb. 28.

Registration for the third annual Sylvan Lake Polar Plunge will begin at 11 a.m. at the Community Center, and the parade of costumes and the plunge will begin at noon.

Proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Michigan.

Participants are asked to raise at least $75 to jump. There is no age limitation; however, parents are asked to remain present if their children are entering the icy water.

The Sylvan Lake Polar Plunge is one of 30 plunges that will take place throughout Michigan this year to raise funds for the Special Olympics Michigan. Polar Plunges are part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run — which raises funds and creates awareness for Special Olympics Michigan. The Michigan polar plunges raised about $1.1 million by more than 4,000 “plungers” last year.

About 60 people jumped into Sylvan Lake last year with about 350 people watching from shore, according to City Manager John Martin.

“The Polar Plunge is huge. It’s really a great event, and the Sylvan Lake Police Department hosts it for the Special Olympics (Michigan). … The objective is to raise money. The money does not (go) to the city of Sylvan Lake,” Martin said.

Those who choose to wear costumes are asked to use discretion because it is an all-ages event.

Sylvan Lake rescue divers and emergency personnel will be on standby during the event to assist participants if necessary. Prior to plunging, participants with pre-existing health issues should discuss plunging with their physician.

A Post Plunge Party will take place after the last jumper.

The Sylvan Lake Parks and Recreation Committee will host the fifth annual Chili and Euchre Tournament from 6-9 p.m. at the Community Center.

The tournament is held during the winter to give community members a chance to unbundle and venture out of the house, said committee chair Patrick Runk.

“It’s nice it’s the same day as the Polar Plunge because we’ll have a lot of activity at the Community Center,” Runk said.

The tournament costs $20 to participate, but those who bring a pot of chili get a $10 discount. Last year, Runk said, about 10-15 different chilis were brought to the tournament. Participants will vote on the best chili, and the winner receives a trophy. The Parks and Recreation Committee and the winner of the euchre tournament split the proceeds of the event.

Money raised by the committee will benefit future community projects sponsored by the committee.

“We have some pretty rabid euchre players in the city, so it may not be for the faint of heart who want to have a good time playing,” Runk said, laughing.

Depending on who participates, the committee will group the players appropriately, Runk said.

For more information about either event, visit www.sylvanlake.org.

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