Carson-area residents will bear cold for Lake Tahoe plunge Saturday

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This will mark the fourth year Mike Riggs has taken the plunge into Lake Tahoe’s frigid waters to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Despite his experience, he’s still not quite sure what to expect.

“Every year is a new surprise,” he said. “You never know what Mother Nature is going to bring you.”

The annual Polar Plunge will be Saturday at Lake Tahoe’s Zephyr Cove. So far, $43,473 has been raised for Special Olympics Nevada.

Participants, known as plungers, must raise at least $125 through pledges and have ranged in age from 7 to 70. Individuals are welcome, as are teams, typically made up of police, firefighters, companies, high school clubs, service organizations and fraternities.

Riggs, a member of Carson City’s Kiwanis of the Sierra Nevada, is joining dozens of other members throughout the area in taking the plunge.

“It’s for a good cause,” he said.

Years ago, he said, he volunteered to help coach the ski team for the Special Olympics. As the owner of a printing businesses now, he said, he doesn’t have enough time to coach. The fundraiser offers the perfect solution.

“One Saturday in March to jump into the lake, and have fun doing it,” he said, “I can handle that. No problem.”

Bryan Bibee, a member of the Carson City Noon Kiwanis, also will be jumping in. It’s his second year, but he has persuaded his wife, Cara, a member of Sierra Nevada Kiwanis, to join him.

“She’s nervous about it,” he said.

But he does his best to allay her fears.

“We’re in and out quick,” he reasoned. “And the coldness goes away.”

And the purpose behind the plunge makes the discomfort bearable, he said.

“I think the Special Olympics is excellent,” Bibee said. “And the money stays here locally within the region. It’s a really good cause and a great way to raise some money.”


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