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By Dan Rudy 

Derby girls adopt annual polar plunge

 


For those hoping to start off the new year with a joltingly crisp dip, Wrangell’s annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held in Shoemaker Bay on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m.

Clay Hammer first took the plunge in 2000, organizing the event each year since. But this year will be a bit different, as he heads for warmer waters.

“He will be on the lovely beaches of Maui this year,” said Shawna Buness, coach of the Garnet Grit Betties. Wrangell’s roller derby team will instead take on the responsibility for organizing the plunge.

“We were honored to take it on,” she said. Already the team has been going around to local shops gathering support and prizes for the event. “They’ve always just been really awesome,” Buness said of the community’s businesses.

Participation is free to all, with possible prizes, cocoa and snacks to be provided. “Everybody is welcome,” invited Buness.

The Plunge will become part of the Betties’ busy schedule, as they hold training boot camps on Jan. 3 and 4, Feb. 7 and 8, and attend a rules clinic in Ketchikan on Jan. 10. The team will then return to K-Town for its next bout on Feb. 21, and will host two more bouts later in the season on March 21 and April 4.

“We’re busy,” said Buness. “That is why we have a lot of fundraising going on.”

At the Plunge the team will pull the winning ticket at its 50/50 raffle. The winner will split the winnings with the team. Tickets for the drawing are still available.

 

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